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File a Complaint

How to file a complaint with the Office of the Child Advocate



The OCA is currently in the process of updating our complaint management system to reflect the name change. The complaint form will continue to state Office of Children’s Ombudsman (OCO), until further notice. The complaints will still be received and processed as usual by the OCA.

The OCA investigates complaints about children involved with Michigan's child welfare system (protective services, foster care, adoption and juvenile justice) because of abuse or neglect issues. 
We determine whether the actions and decisions made by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and/or a private child-placing agency are in compliance with laws, rules and DHHS policies and in the best interest of the child. 
Note: The OCA has no legal authority to investigate complaints that exclusively involve: 
  • Friend of the Court Issues (custody, child support, parenting time)
  • Guardianships
  • School problems
  • Law enforcement
  • Attorneys
  • Judges
  • Court Orders
The OCA can provide you with referral information regarding who may be able to help. ;
The OCA is not an emergency intervention service. If you have a concern that needs immediate attention, call your county DHHS or law enforcement. 

Who Can File A Complaint

Anyone can file a complaint with the OCA.

The following individuals, listed in Section 5 of the Child Advocate Act, may receive the written findings, recommendations, and DHHS responses to an OCA investigation. 

a) The child, if he or she is able to articulate a complaint.

b)  A biological parent of the child.

c)  A foster parent of the child.

d)  An adoptive parent or a prospective parent of the child.

e)  A legally appointed guardian of the child.

f)   A guardian ad litem of the child.

g)  An adult who is related to the child within the fifth degree by marriage, blood, or adoption, as defined in section 22 of the adoption code, MCL 710.22.

h) A Michigan legislator. 

i)  An individual required to report child abuse or child neglect under section 3 of the Child Protection Law, 1975 PA 238,  MCL 722.623.

j) A judge for a juvenile receiving juvenile justice services. 

k) The governor

l) An attorney for any individual described in subdivisions (a) to (k). 

Any individual not listed above may receive the recommendations and DHHS responses to an OCA investigation.


Complaint Form

Please click on the link below to file a complaint with the OCA. 
Complaint Form