Child Protection Ombudsman (OCPO)
We will advocate for, support, and serve all individuals and communities in Utah. We will ensure all Utahns have fair and equitable opportunities to live safe and healthy lives
An official appointed to investigate individuals’ complaints against maladministration, especially that of public authorities.
The Child Protection Ombuds (CPO) team is an independent, objective team charged with investigating and resolving concerns from the public about the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) practice and staff.
What We Do
- We listen to your concerns about DCFS.
- We answer your questions about the child welfare system.
- We conduct independent reviews and investigations to ensure a child’s case is handled according to DCFS practice guidelines and Utah law.
- We determine the best way to resolve concerns, whether that be by explaining DCFS policies and guidelines, working directly with DCFS, or opening an investigation.
- We want to make lasting change by identifying trends in the child welfare system and making recommendations to have a positive impact on children and families.
What We Can't Do
- Investigate individuals and actions outside of DCFS, including court rulings, judges, legal staff, law enforcement agencies, or service providers.
- Investigate personnel issues; we will defer them to DCFS administration.
- Give legal advice.
- Share confidential and protected information about a case or child.
How to File a Complaint
What happens when a complaint is submitted?
- Preliminary intake: we will determine if we can provide assistance or will make a referral to the appropriate agency.
- After a case is accepted, we will determine what action will be taken, which can include any of the following:
- Mediate concerns with DCFS and the complainant to get them resolved.
- Open a review to ensure DCFS policies and guidelines were followed.
- Initiate a formal investigation.
- Decline taking further action as the complaint doesn’t meet our statutory criteria, can be resolved by another remedy, or another reason.
- OCPO will keep you updated and informed throughout the process.