ARMY FAMILY CARE PLANS
AR 600-20, Army Command Policy. (Section 5-5). (04 Aug 11)
AR 601-280, Army Retention Program. (15 Sep 11)
AR 600-8-24, Officer Transfers and Discharges. (13 Sep 11)
AR 635-200, Active Duty Enlisted Administrative Separations. (06 Sep 11)
DOD Instruction 1342.19, Family Care Plans. (07 May 10)
Family Care Plan Overview
The references above cover the requirements of starting and maintaining Family Care Plans IAW AR 600-20, 5-5, and the requirement for a
Bar to Reenlistment for Soldiers not maintaining a valid FCP within 2 months of an FCP Counseling. Commanders are encouraged, but not
required, to initiate involuntary separation against Soldiers with invalid FCPs after the time limit.
1) AR 600-20, Army Command Policy, clarifies Family Care Plan (FCP) requirements and includes usable examples of the various
components required for a viable FCP, such as sample powers of attorney, letters of instruction to local and long-term guardians, guardian
acceptance certificates, and DA Forms 5304-R (FCP Checklist) and 5305-R (FCP).
2) FCPs do not trump court-mandated custodial arrangements – they just document and provide proof of a Soldier’s method of caring for
dependents in order to increase readiness.1 DA Form 5305 allows military or civilian authorities to obtain proper care for family members
when a Soldier is incapable of implementing the plan due to military absence.
3) At a minimum, an FCP Packet must have:
a) DA Form 5305 (Family Care Plan)
b) DA Form 5841 (Power of Attorney)
c) DA Form 5840 (Certificate of Acceptance as Guardian or Escort)
d) DD Form 1172 (Application for Uniformed Services Identification Card-DEERS Enrollment) for each family member
e) DD Form 2558 (Authorization to Start, Stop, or Change an Allotment) unsigned until deployment
f) A letter of instruction to the guardian/escort, and DA Form 7666 (Parental Consent) as appropriate.
Company Commander Responsibilities, Counseling, Preparation, Validation, and Approval of FCPs
1) Identify and counsel the following personnel on rights and responsibilities for the care of family members:
a) Pregnant Soldiers who are…
ii) Married to another service member, either AC or RC of any service.
b) Single/geographically-separated parents with children under the age of 19.
c) Soldiers with adult family members incapable of self-care, regardless of age.
d) Soldiers with liberal or extended visitation rights to family members under the Soldier’s care for more than 30 consecutive days.
e) Soldiers with a spouse incapable of self-care or otherwise physically, mentally, or emotionally disabled so as to require special care or
f) Soldiers in a dual-military couple with joint/full custody of children under 19 or adult family members incapable of self-care, regardless of
2) Provide FCP counseling and Pregnancy counseling to Soldiers as soon as pregnancy is identified or NLT 90 days prior to expected birth
date of the child.5 DA Form 5305 must be completed NLT 60 prior to the birth, additional forms completed NLT 45 days after.
3) Act as approving authority for all DA Form 5305s. This cannot be delegated.
4) Test validity of the FCP prior to final approval, and provide Soldier 30 days after first disapproval to revise and resubmit.
5) Provide Soldiers at least 30 days to complete revisions to their plan. Commanders may authorize another 30 days. Shorter timelines are
permitted under certain circumstances.
6) Review and recertify the Soldier’s FCP annually on their birth month, after any changes in their circumstances that require a change to the
FCP, or whenever a Soldier is mobilized, deployed, or processed for pre-deployment. Recertify FCPs for Soldiers PCSing OCONUS NLT 30
days prior to PCS. Administrative Actions for inadequate FCPs
7) While AR 600-20 states that the Bar to Reenlistment is at the commander’s discretion, AR 601-280 states that a commander will initiate a
Bar to Reenlistment against Soldiers who do not have an FCP on file within 2 months after FCP Counseling.
8) Commanders should consider initiating, but are not required to initiate, involuntary separation against Soldiers/Officers who fail to maintain
adequate FCPs. Soldiers will be considered for involuntary separation due to parenthood if as outlined in AR 635-200, 5-8, a, 1-5.