DHHS Ombudsman

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
E-mail: HHS-Ombudsman@saccounty.net

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:
    1. Your Social Worker or Case Manager
    2. His/Her Supervisor
    3. His/Her Program Manager
  • If you don’t get satisfaction, then contact the Ombudsman’s office. We are just a phone call away.

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:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Political affiliation
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Domestic partnership
  • Sexual orientation
  • Ethnic group identification
  • Disability

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