Complaint Form (PDF Format - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Guidelines for Filing a Complaint
The Office of the Family and Children's Ombudsman
investigates complaints about an agency action
or failure to act in cases involving:
Any child at risk of abuse, neglect, or other harm.
A child or family involved with child protection
or child welfare services.
To begin an investigation fill out the Complaint Form (PDF Format - requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) and
return it to our office. If you believe an agency has placed a child or parent at risk of imminent harm especially if a child's safety is involved-don't wait. Call our office and ask for immediate help.
We will begin an investigation within 15 working days of receiving your
complaint. An ombudsman will be assigned to lead the investigation and will
contact you to discuss your case. The ombudsman will review agency records
and interview others.
When the investigation is complete, it will be reviewed by an Ombudsman
team that includes social workers and attorneys.
Examples of complaints we investigate:
Two toddlers often wander unsupervised in an apartment complex. A neighbor worries about their safety and calls Child Protective Services (CPS). Day after day, the toddlers continue to wander unattended. After several more calls to CPS and no response, the neighbor finally calls the Ombudsman.
A 13 year-old is switched to a new school after being placed in a
foster home in another school district. The girl's teacher believes this
change will seriously disrupt her progress and works with the caseworker
to keep the girl in her old school. However, the superintendent refuses to
allow her to stay at that school. The caseworker contacts the Ombudsman.
We will take further action if your complaint
meets these criteria:
- The alleged act or failure to act did occur.
- It violated law, policy or procedure.
Or-it was clearly unreasonable.
- It was harmful to a child's safety, health, well-being,
or right to a permanent family. Or-it was harmful to appropriate family preservation, contact, or reunification.
If your complaint does not meet these criteria, we will refer you
to an agency that can help.