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Blue StarComplaint 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.