How can an ombudsman office help?
An ombuds is a neutral participant that facilitates the dispute process in education and public benefits. An ombuds office can help by:
- Responding to inquiries
- Informing and clarifying rights
- Investigating complaints
- Explaining policies and procedures
- Advocating for the fairness of the process (not an advocate for an individual party)
- Developing options and suggesting appropriate referrals
As stated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Office of Ombuds “may recommend changes in policies and procedures.” Note: recommending does not mean changing the rules, policies, or procedures. The Office “does not conduct formal investigations [and] does not change rules, policies, or procedures.”
For more information, see our article What Is an Ombudsman?