The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) recognizes Ombuds Day, the second Thursday of October, as an opportunity to educate and raise awareness for the ombuds models within DHHR’s Office of Inspector General and the services they offer.
“We are proud to recognize Ombuds Day here in West Virginia, a day that underscores our commitment to the well-being and rights of our residents,” said Sherri A. Young, D.O., MBA, FAAFP, Interim DHHR Secretary and Incoming Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health. “Ombuds play a crucial role in promoting safety, advocating for individuals, and driving positive change within our state. Today, we celebrate their tireless efforts in ensuring that every West Virginian receives the care and support they deserve.”
The Office of the Mental Health Ombudsman (MHO) promotes the safety, well-being, and rights of consumers in behavioral health facilities and programs across the state. The MHO can mediate or advocate on behalf of residents, consult with providers about policies, practices, and procedures, collect and analyze information, conduct reviews, review serious injuries, examine records, visit programs and hospitals, recommend corrective actions, issue reports, and monitor results. Concerns and complaints can be directed to 304-558-2159 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Foster Care Ombudsman (FCO) advocates for the rights of children in foster care, foster and resource parents, and kinship/relative caregivers, investigates and resolves complaints, and makes recommendations for child welfare reform. When an individual contacts the FCO, a representative from the unit will reach out to gather information regarding the complaint and will follow up in a timely manner. Anyone with a complaint, concern, or issue relating to the foster care system can contact the Foster Care Ombudsman at 304-558-1117 or FosterCareOmbudsman@wv.gov. A Request for Assistance form is available at https://www.wvdhhr.org/oig/fco.html.
For additional information, visit dhhr.wv.gov. To view and apply for DHHR careers, visit dhhr.wv.gov/Pages/Career-Opportunities.aspx.