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File a Complaint

How to file a complaint with the Office of Children's Ombudsman

The OCO 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 OCO 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 OCO can provide you with referral information regarding who may be able to help. ;
The OCO 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 OCO.

The following individuals, listed in Section 5 of the Children's Ombudsman Act, may receive the written findings, recommendations, and DHHS responses to an OCO 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)  An attorney for any of the above-listed people.

i)  A Michigan legislator.

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

Any individual not listed above may receive the recommendations and DHS responses to an OCO investigation.


Complaint Form

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