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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 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.