The Office of the Ombudsman serves as an advocate for citizens and works to ensure those seeking various public services are treated fairly.
We answer questions about CHFS programs, investigate customer complaints and work with CHFS management to resolve them, advise CHFS management about patterns of complaints and recommend corrective action when appropriate.
The Office of the Ombudsman seeks to be conscientious and responsive in our contact with the public and to provide meaningful feedback to Cabinet program personnel with the primary goal of improving customer service, customer satisfaction and overall Cabinet effectiveness.
Small Business Ombudsman
The small business ombudsman program was established by the 2006 General Assembly with passage of HB 374. Each state government cabinet is required to provide a small business ombudsman to:
- Respond to inquiries from small businesses on administrative regulations and other regulatory matters; and
- Provide information regarding the procedure for submitting comments on administrative regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can the Office of the Ombudsman assist me?
Client complaints are received and reviewed by the Office of the Ombudsman staff.
When requesting an appeal pertaining to the Division of Protection and Permanency, it is appropriate to complete a written service appeal or Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act appeal and mail it to the Quality Assurance Section. The appropriate forms can be obtained from your local Division of Protection and Permanency office or by contacting the Ombudsman's Office by calling its toll-free number.
The Complaint Review Branch receives and investigates complaints and answers questions about programs administered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. This office also:
- recommends corrective action where appropriate;
- prompts Cabinet officials and staff to resolve problems customers have with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and its programs; and
- advises the Cabinet secretary of service delivery problems.
The Complaint Review Branch is not authorized to make, change or set aside law, policy or administrative decisions. However, it is authorized to take appropriate action to facilitate resolution of specific issues and broader systemic problems.
When should I contact the Complaint Review Branch?
Usually it is best to think of the Complaint Review Branch as a last resort when other approaches to resolve problems and issues have failed. If you have a problem, first discuss it with the person or office involved. Many times, this will result in an explanation of a specific policy or efforts to address your concern on the spot.
If you don't know who to see or what procedure to use, contact the Complaint Review Branch. We will point you to the right person and even advise the best approach to solve your problem.
If you have already made a reasonable effort to resolve your problem with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and still have not been successful, contact the Complaint Review Branch.
What will happen after I file a complaint?
A member of the Complaint Review Branch will discuss your complaint with you. In some cases, the problem can be resolved in a matter of minutes. If an investigation is necessary, it may take longer. After investigating, staff will determine if the complaint is justified.
If your complaint is justified, we will work with you and the Cabinet to find a fair solution.
If your complaint is not justified, we will take the time to explain the reason. The Complaint Review Branch approaches every complaint with impartiality and objectivity.