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Child Welfare Services (CWS) has opened an Office of the Ombudsperson which is available to provide independent review of questions and concerns related to CWS.
The Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services’ (DHHS) CWS ombuds office will also provide information, consultation and assistance with problem resolution.
An ombudsperson is an official charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints and allegations.
The office was created as part of the settlement agreement between the California Attorney General’s Office and DHHS’s CWS Division.
Sheryl Lyons, the CWS program manager in charge of the new ombuds office, said this will provide a clear “front door” for clients to bring concerns regarding CWS policy, practices and process.
“We look forward to providing our clients, partners and staff with a high level of responsiveness from the ombuds staff, which will be important for building and maintaining positive relationships between CWS and the community,” she said. “We are committed to making improvements to our system, both short and long term, and we believe our actions will reflect that commitment.”
DHHS Director Connie Beck called the development another big step in providing continuity of service. “This new office will give us the opportunity to provide better access to our families and partners, and ensure compliance with the AG settlement.”
The office officially opened today. For more information about the CWS Office of the Ombudsperson or to speak to someone in the office, call 707-388-6777 or visit humboldtgov.org/cwsombudsperson.
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