Investigates complaints in Washington state about agency actions or inaction that involve:

  • Any child at risk of abuse, neglect, or other harm.
  • A child or parent involved with child protection or child welfare services.

We intervene in cases in which we have determined that an agency's action or inaction is unauthorized or unreasonable. In addition to addressing complaints, we work to identify system-wide issues and recommend appropriate changes in public reports to the Governor, the Legislature and agency officials.

We are independent.

The Ombuds is part of the Governor’s Office. We operate independently from the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and other agencies. We make sure agencies serving families and children are doing their job.

We are impartial.

The Ombuds acts as an impartial fact-finder. We step in when an agency action or failure to act is unauthorized or unreasonable.

We protect confidentiality.

The Ombuds will not disclose your identity to the agency without your permission. Our records are confidential by law and cannot be obtained through public disclosure, civil discovery, or court subpoena.

We work to improve services.

The Ombuds examines laws, policies, procedures, and practices that interfere with effective delivery of services to families and children. We identify issues and recommend appropriate changes in reports to the governor, legislature and agency leaders.

Complaint Guidelines »