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Complaints and Concerns

Governor's Advocacy Office

The Governor's Advocacy Office (GAO) helps people work through questions, concerns or complaints about Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) services or programs.

  • We are the Ombuds office for ODHS. Ombuds professionals investigate and help resolve peoples' complaints about services that are inefficient or inequitable.
  • We are organizationally independent from the programs under our review.
  • We report regularly to the ODHS Director and Office of the Governor on patterns and trends of complaints.
  • Our office includes the ODHS Ombuds program, the Foster Care Ombuds, civil rights and discrimination inves​tigations, and oversight of the agency's formal complaint process.

Our staff help thousands of individuals and families in Oregon every year. This includes anyone who is having a problem with or needs information about programs or services provided by ODHS.


ODHS Ombuds Program

The ODHS Ombuds Program objectively evaluates and works to resolve the issues raised by people who contact us. It also includes a Children's Advocate, a required role that specifically responds to concerns about child abuse and neglect, child protective services and issues related to individual child welfare cases or general program practices.

Some examples of the kinds of issues we address include:

  • Concerns, complaints or questions about ODHS' role in investigating child abuse and neglect
  • Foster parent issues
  • Adult and elder abuse or neglect
  • Access to ODHS public assistance programs
  • Customer service issues
  • Resources for individuals and family support services or treatment programs, including services for people with physical, mental or developmental disabilities

Foster Care Ombuds

The Foster Care Ombuds operates the Youth Empowerment and Safety (Y.E.S.) line (855-840-6036). This hotline is available to any ODHS foster child at all times. This ensures children in foster care can make complaints and assert grievances about their care, safety or well-being.


Civil rights and discrimination

The GAO responds to reports of discrimination, including civil rights complaints. The process includes screening, coordination, oversight and tracking formal complaints and reports of discrimination.

  • We can't review complaints about programs that aren't part of ODHS.
  • We can't make decisions that go against current Oregon statutes, administrative rules, or department and program policies.
  • We can't ignore suspected abuse. Our staff are mandatory reporters of abuse and neglect.
  • We can't review or overturn final orders on administrative hearings or court decisions.

A case with the GAO can include one or more of the following steps:

  • We respond to your questions, concerns or complaints.
  • We refer you to resources for concerns that are outside of ODHS' control.
  • We investigate your case to see if program staff followed ODHS policies and procedures.
  • We keep track of the kinds of issues people have so we can identify patterns and trends. This helps us see where ODHS staff might need more training.
  • We may recommend changes to ODHS policies and procedures if we find that current policies have a negative impact on clients and others.

GAO coordinates and manages the complaint process. When we get a complaint about ​discrimination, we ​either independently investigate or refer the case to the appropriate government authority for investigation.​


File a formal complaint

Use the form below if you are an ODHS client or customer and feel you received poor customer service or were treated unfairly. The form is available in different formats and languages. 



Email or drop off your completed form: 


Share a comment

If you want to share a comment but don't want to file a formal complaint, you can fill out the customer comment form below. The form is available in different formats and languages.



Email or drop off your completed form: 


Contact us

Phone: 503-945-6904

Toll-free: 800-442-5238

TTY: 711

Email: gao.info@odhs.oregon.gov

Fax: 503-378-6532

For foster care complaints:
Contact the Foster Care Ombuds or call the Y.E.S. line at 855-840-6036.


GAO team

Director, Human Services Ombudsperson
Mo Glenn

ODHS Ombuds Program
Jody Aiello
Sarah Burwell
Martha Gaugh
Mike Hansen
Tamara Hooper
Leslie Sabatini

Foster Care Ombudsperson
Darin Mancuso

Civil Rights, ADA and Formal Complaint Coordinator
Jason Wenig

Intake and Administrative Support
Wendy Leedle


Civil Rights posters

ODHS Civil Rights Poster (English)

ODHS Cartel de Derechos Civiles (Español)