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OCFO Public Policy

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, please call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-866-820-5437.

Policy and Procedure

The Office of the Child and Family Ombudsman Policy and Procedure Manual is currently under review for compliance with court case ADV-2019-1481.  Check back later for revised policies to be posted here.

OCFO Core Principles


OCFO is part of the Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, Special Services Bureau. OCFO is a separate and free from the Department of Health and Human Services


OCFO does not represent a side in disputes, but is qualified to review records and determine compliance with law, policy, procedure, and best practice. The Ombudsman works collaboratively with all parties, including DPHHS, to improve services for the children of Montana. The Ombudsman may advocate certain recommendations that benefit the individual who requested assistance; however, advocacy from the Ombudsman is directed at improving the services offered by DPHHS and should not be construed as supporting one individual over another.


A requestor may request that their identity may be kept confidential. The Office of the Child and Family Ombudsman is governed by the same confidentiality of records as the Child and Family Services Division and we are required to maintain the confidentiality of Child and Family Services records.

Credible Review Process

Every individual who contacts OCFO will receive the same opportunities to request assistance and receive review of their request.


The Ombudsman will be familiar with the laws governing child welfare, systems of care, and best practices in working with children and families.  The Ombudsman will pursue information about and stay abreast of changes to and advances in the provision of services to children and families.

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