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About the Office
- The OCO is housed in the Department of Technology, Management and Budget as an independent agency.
- Empowerment through knowledge: If you have general questions about the child welfare system in Michigan, we may be able to assist you in providing insight.
- If you believe that your experience with Michigan's child welfare system (child protective services, foster care, adoption and/or juvenile justice) can highlight a system wide issue or deficiency or can be used as a case sample to improve the child welfare system as a whole, please contact our office or file an online complaint.
- The OCO may be able to use your experience to highlight areas where the Ombudsman can make recommendations for change to improve the child welfare system.
The Office of Children's Ombudsman (OCO) was established by the Michigan Legislature in 1994 in an effort to bring greater accountability to Michigan's child welfare system. The Children's Ombudsman Act (Public Act 204 of 1994 ) established the OCO as an independent state agency with primary responsibility to receive and investigate complaints concerning children who for reasons of abuse or neglect are under the supervision MDHHS or its private contracted agencies.
In addition to addressing citizen complaints, the OCO makes recommendations to the Governor, the Legislature, and MDHHS for changes in child welfare laws, rules, and policies to improve outcomes for children.
Michigan's Children's Ombudsman is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Michigan Legislature and is supported by a multi-disciplinary team of investigators.
Suzanna Shkreli was appointed Director to the Office of Children's Ombudsman (OCO) on March 25, 2021 by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Prior to being appointed Director, Suzanna served as deputy legal counsel in the Executive Office of Governor. As a member of the Executive Office, she represented the governor on the Human Trafficking Commission and was appointed to the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Tracking and Reporting Commission. Before joining state government, Suzanna served as an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office where she was assigned to the Child Protection Unit, vertically prosecuting crimes against children involving physical and sexual abuse. She also served as the special prosecutor liaison to the Macomb County Mental Health Court. Additionally, Suzanna has conducted training for prosecutors and law enforcement officials throughout Albania on Crime Victims' Rights on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Prosecutorial Development and Training (OPDAT).
Suzanna is a lifelong Michigander and a proud American of Albanian heritage. She is a graduate of Oakland University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
In her role as the Children's Ombudsman Suzanna will help improve Michigan's child welfare system through independently investigating complaints, advocating for children, and recommending changes to improve law, policy, and practice for the benefit of current and future generations.