What is an Ombudsman?

An Ombudsman is a person who is there to listen to any concerns from youth, young adults, or other adults involved in the children services system. The Ombudsman is independent and neutral; they do not work for a children services agency, title IV-E court, residential facility, or foster care agency. The Ombudsman is there to help resolve your concerns. The Ombudsman can listen to concerns about your placement, care, or services, review your situation, look at documentation, or speak to others to help you reach a solution.

How can an Ombudsman help?

An Ombudsman can help in several ways. If you have questions or concerns about your rights, the Ombudsman can help. If you’ve been working with your caseworker and their supervisor on an issue, but it still isn’t resolved, the Ombudsman may be able to help. If you have a question about your living arrangements or treatment, and no one has been able to answer them, the Ombudsman may be able to help.

The Ombudsman can investigate your concern and work to resolve your complaint. In some cases, they may even make recommendations on how the system can change to make the situation better for everyone. While an Ombudsman cannot provide legal advice, there are many things an Ombudsman can help with while you are working with children services. If you have a problem with placement, care, or services, reach out to your Ombudsman to find out exactly what they can do for you!

In many instances, your concern may be resolved by contacting your local children services or placement agency. In the event you are unable to reach a resolution locally or you require further assistance, please contact the Youth and Family Ombudsmen Office.

Is this an Emergency?

If this is an emergency, call 911. If you are in crisis or thinking about hurting yourself and you need to speak to someone immediately, call 911 or the Ohio CareLine at 1-800-720-9616.
Youth Ombudsman
The Youth Ombudsman receives, reviews and investigates complaints from youth concerned about their care, placement, services or rights.
Family Ombudsman
The Family Ombudsman strives to optimize the overall effectiveness of Ohio's children services system by independently investigating complaints filed by concerned individuals or families.