(Posted 2022 May)
A state Office of the Children’s Ombudsman publicly launched May 3, 2022, with the purpose of helping individuals who have concerns about the way local department of social services (like the Fairfax County Department of Family Services) are handling a child protective services or foster care case.
The Office of the Children's Ombudsman can provide support in several ways:
- The OCO is available to assist when individuals don't understand why an agency took a certain action or made a certain decision.
- They can also advocate for policy changes to improve the system for children and families.
- In some cases, they may be able to investigate to review a situation if you think the agency's action or decision violated laws or policies.
Contact with the OCO is confidential and it is against the law for any agency to penalize you for contacting them. The OCO is part of the Office of the Governor and is independent from all other state and local agencies so their reviews of cases can be impartial and thorough.
For general questions about the OCO, you can email them at email@example.com. If you have a concern with a local department of social services, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 804-225-4801.
You can find more detailed information about the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman, their mission, how they handle complaints, and their guiding principles on their website.