Family Ombudsman Jennifer Sheriff

The Family Ombudsman independently investigates complaints filed by concerned individuals or families with a key focus on optimizing the overall effectiveness of Ohio's children services system. Although the Family Ombudsman cannot provide legal guidance or function as any complainant's legal representative, the Family Ombudsman is vested with legal authority to impartially review reported concerns and, where facts present a need, issue recommendations to local and state government agencies.
If you have already filed a complaint with the appropriate local children services agency, but any reported concern was not resolved to your satisfaction, please file a complaint here to request assistance from the Family Ombudsman.
or call 1-877-OH-YOUTH (1-877-649-6884) Monday–Friday 8am–5pm

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.

What Happens After I File a Complaint?

Every filed complaint is reviewed by the Family Ombudsman to determine whether and how each reported concern should be investigated by the Family Ombudsman.
After a reported concern is determined to fall within program jurisdiction, a member of the Family Ombudsman team will reach out to the complainant as quickly as possible to discuss any appropriate next steps.
After a preliminary assessment is finished, the Family Ombudsman (or a member of the Family Ombudsman team) will gather as many relevant facts as possible.
This may include reviewing confidential case records, interviewing fact witnesses, and/or convening meetings to further explore existing agency policies and practices.
After the neutral investigative process is finished, the complainant will be promptly notified in writing of any recommendations being issued by the Family Ombudsman.
If the Family Ombudsman decides to issue a confidential investigative report to a local or state government agency, the complainant will be notified prior to closure of the complaint.

If you are not sure whether you want to file a complaint at this time, please do not hesitate to call 1-877-649-6884 to schedule a meeting with a member of the Family Ombudsman team to discuss your concerns.

Office hours are Monday – Friday between the hours of 8 am – 5 pm (except holidays)

To learn more about how the Family Ombudsman can help, read through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).