File Compliant

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: 
           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 
    • 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