What is an Ombudsman?
An Ombudsman is a protector or defender of citizen’s rights.
How can I file a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman?
For the quickest response please contact our office by phone or e-mail. You may also submit a complaint in writing. Simply download the complaint form, complete and mail to:
DHHS, Ombudsman Program
7001 A East Parkway
Sacramento, CA 95823
Telephone: (916) 875-2000
Fax: (916) 875-1283
What should I do before I call the Office of the Ombudsman?
- Keep good records, take notes, and save all of your documents. Keep the names of the agency staff you have contacted.
- Contact the following people in the order listed prior to calling the Ombudsman:
If you don’t get satisfaction, then contact the Ombudsman’s office. We are just a phone call away.
- Your Social Worker or Case Manager
- His/Her Supervisor
- His/Her Program Manager
How can the Office of the Ombudsman help you?
- We will provide information, answer questions and/or identify staff or resources to address your issues.
- We will research Agency policies and procedures that may assist you in resolving your complaint.
- We will assure that matters are treated in a confidential manner as appropriate.
- We will facilitate prompt resolutions of complaints in an independent, impartial, objective and professional manner.
What does the Ombudsman do?
- Conducts independent reviews of complaints concerning Agency policies or practices.
- Ensure that policies and practices are consistent with DHHS goals and missions.
- Ensures that individuals are treated fairly, respectfully and with dignity.
- Makes referrals and recommendations when appropriate.
Is there anything the Office of the Ombudsman cannot do?
- We do not have the authority to overturn a court decision or make recommendations to the court.
- We cannot investigate matters when appeals or lawsuits are pending against the County.
- Personnel and disciplinary matters are referred to an Agency manager for the appropriate action.
- We are unable to give legal advice.
- We cannot ensure implementation of any recommendation made following our investigation.
Who can call the Ombudsman's office?
Anyone can call: children, parents, grandparents, relatives, foster parents, attorneys, physicians, therapists, social workers, teachers, related agencies, or community organizations, etc.
What if I disagree with the Ombudsman’s findings?
The Ombudsman’s findings concludes departmental actions. Disagreements with the Ombudsman's report of findings should be directed to:
State Department of Social Services
744 P St. M/S 19-90
Sacramento, CA 95814
How to File a Complaint with the State
State and federal regulations allow for you to file a civil rights complaint directly with the DHHS Civil Rights Coordinator at (916) 875-2000 if you believe that you were treated inappropriately or differently solely because of your:
- National origin
- Political affiliation
- Marital status
- Domestic partnership
- Sexual orientation
- Ethnic group identification