Office of the Family and Children's Ombudsman: 2018 Annual Report. Washington State Office of the Family and Children's Ombudsman.
Washington State Office of the Family and Children's Ombudsman.
State Resource Technical Report
Washington State Office of the Family and Children's Ombudsman
6720 Fort Dent Way, Suite 240 Mail Stop TT-99
Tukwila, WA 98188
Tel: 800-571-7321 206-439-3870
This report provides an account of the Washington State Office of the Family and Children's Ombudsman's (OFCO) activities from September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018 and provides recommendations for systemic improvements. The first part of the report reviews the role of the ombudsman to provide families and citizens across the Washington State with an independent and impartial review of the decisions made by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and other State agencies. The following part discusses the inquiries and complaints received during the targeted time period, and reports the ombudsman received 901 complaints, and completed 923 complaint investigations regarding 870 families. As in 2017, the separation and reunification of families and agency conduct and services were by far the most frequently identified issues in complaints. The next part of the report discusses systemic issues in the child welfare system that need to be addressed, including: the ongoing use of hotels as emergency placements for children in state care and the need for a continuum of placement resources; foster care and involvement in the criminal justice system; meeting the educational needs of youth in out of home care; and enhancing parent-child and sibling visits. The final part discusses the powers and responsibilities of the Department of Children, Youth and Families Oversight Board. Appendices include charts showing complaints received by region and office, adverse findings by office, and summaries of OFCO’s adverse findings. 71 references.
Washington; ombudspersons; state programs; statistics; policy formation; child protective services; child welfare services; family reunification; child safety; separation; juvenile delinquency; criminal justice system; siblings; parental visits