Ombudsman (Complaints)

Office of the Child Advocate - Massachusetts

About this resource

Ombudsman is a Swedish word that means "representative" or "agent." Ombudsman or Child Advocates, as they are also called, were established within states and/or Child Welfare to investigate complaints, concerns, or violations of children right's while in foster care.

In Massachusetts, the Ombudsman office is called the Office of Child Advocate (OCA), but people call the offices both names. 

The OCA works to ensure Massachusetts state agencies provide children with quality services and that children receiving services are protected from harm. We work with families, legislators, social workers, and other professionals to improve state services for children and families. 

Due to COVID-19, the office is not open for in-person meetings. The OCA has these ways to contact the office and/or file a formal complaint: 

Online Complaint Form (linked) 

You can choose to have your complaint anonymous, but you will have to provide a phone number for the OCA to reach you at

Email: [email protected]
Phone options

Complaint Line: (617) 979-8360
Toll Free: (866) 790-3690

Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Main Office: (617) 979-8374