May I make a complaint about a child’s treatment by DCYF to the Office of the Child Advocate?

  • Yes, the Office of the Child Advocate receives complaints about a child or children who are in, were in, or were screened out of the care, supervision, custody, or control of DCYF. Complaints can be submitted by phone, on our website (coming soon), in writing, or in person.
  • Before submitting a complaint, you must exhaust all reasonable remedies within the DCYF and DHHS system, including contacting caseworkers, supervisors, directors, and the DHHS Ombudsman.
  • If you would like to submit a complaint, please provide as much information as possible.

In making a complaint, please provide as much information as possible.

Include if available
  • Your name
  • Your contact information
  • Your relationship to the child
  • The child's name
  • The child's last known address
  • The child's parent(s) or guardian's names
  • The DCYF district office involved
  • The DCYF caseworker
  • The specific service of concern
  • A summary of the complaint
  • Date or dates associated with concern

Will my complaint be confidential?

Yes, all information about the identity of the complainant or his/her relationship to the child received by the Office of the Child Advocate will remain confidential.

What happens after I submit a complaint?

  • Some complaints may be resolved with information and guidance.
  • Other complaints may need more in depth review.
  • We May:
    • Conduct a preliminary review of DCYF records, confirm a problem exists, and attempt to resolve it informally through inquiries and consultation.
    • If a problem is not resolved then a full investigation will be undertaken with gathering of additional information, research, analysis, conclusions and recommendations.
  • Upon completion of an investigation the Office will:
    • Contact DCYF or other appropriate entity to attempt to bring resolution.
    • Report on the outcome of the investigation and agency response in either the Annual Report or a special report.
    • Follow up with the agency to assess whether agreed upon change is implemented.