The Office of the Child Protection Ombudsman (OCPO) was created by the Colorado legislature in 2010 to help identify issues and gaps within the Colorado child protection system related to services provided to children and families involved with the child protection system in Colorado.
(Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
A government official appointed to receive and investigate complaints made by individuals against abuses or capricious acts of public officials; one that investigates, reports on, and helps settle complaints.
Anyone who has concerns regarding the child protection system in Colorado including but not limited to: children, family members, parents, foster and adoptive parents, concerned citizens, mandated reporters, employees of a State or County department of human/social services, employees of other publicly funded entities that serve Colorado children and families.
To the extent possible, the OCPO will protect the confidentiality of the complainant. In certain instances, the agency may be able to identify the complainant based on the information requested or the complaint that has been filed.
The OCPO will not maintain confidentiality if:
- The complainant threatens to harm themselves
- The complainant threatens to harm agency or other individuals involved in the complaint
- The complainant reports an incident that requires attention by local law enforcement or provides information related to a criminal offense
The OCPO can do the following:
- Facilitate a process of independent, impartial review of family and community concerns
- Request independent, accurate information
- Conduct case reviews to help identify and resolve child protection and overall systemic issues
- Provide recommendations to the State and County child protection departments, as well as to the Colorado Legislature, to improve the child protection system or overall service delivery
- Offer the complainant options for resolving their concerns
- Serve as a resource and systems navigator
- Provide ongoing public education
The OCPO cannot:
- Directly respond to emergencies regarding child safety
- Cannot investigate allegations of child abuse and/or neglect
- Review complaints concerning domestic relations issues (CFI, court rulings, custody orders, etc)
- Investigate or overturn the acts or decisions of the Court or their staff
- Investigate complaints or concerns regarding the conduct of Judges, Magistrates or attorneys
- judicial complaint process)
- Investigate complaints regarding a Guardian ad Litem (link to OCR)
- Provide legal advice
- Intervene in any criminal or civil proceeding or any criminal investigation
If you feel that an agency caseworker or staff has done something that will hurt your standing the case, or if the agency caseworker or staff makes negative statements about your contact with the OCPO, you should contact the OCPO immediately. Once the OCOP learns that there may be retribution towards you because of your contact with the OCPO, the OCPO will take appropriate action.
You can complete the online complaint form and an OCPO staff member will contact you to complete an intake.
You can also contact the OCPO by calling 303-864-5111 and speak directly with a staff to file your complaint.
Please visit our “Helpful Links and Phone Numbers” page to find all the information you will need to contact the appropriate agency.