Whenever you go to a senior housing facility or long-term care facility, have you ever seen the Ombudsman notice and wondered, what’s an Ombudsman? Why do these places have such statements? The State of California requires Ombudsman notices to be posted publicly in long-term facilities. The word Ombudsman comes from Sweden and means representative. An Ombudsman works independently as an intermediary to provide individuals with a confidential avenue to address complaints and resolve issues at the lowest possible level. When identified, the Office proposes policy and procedural changes on certain issues.
What can an Ombudsman do?
Listens to complaints or concerns
Analyzes the situation
Explains CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) policies and procedures
Advocates for the fairness of a process as opposed to advocating for an individual party
Provides information, sometimes advice and options
Provides appropriate referrals
What does an Ombudsman not do?
They will not conduct formal investigations.
Does not change rules, policies, or procedures
Does not participate in any formal hearing or grievance process
Does not supersede the authority of other DCDR officials
Does not disclose any information provided in confidence, except if there is an imminent risk of serious harm and no option is available.
Does not engage in activity that others may perceive as advocacy for any individual