The Office of the Ombudsman for Children and Youth in Foster Care (FCO) at the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) released their 2020 report, citing that the office resolved 762 complaints from youth in foster care, and 274 of those complaints were substantiated. There were more than 800 total contacts to the Ombudsman, of which only 240 were directly from children and youth. This number may have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, youth’s access to technology, and the Ombudsman’s ability to follow up with youth placed in restricted settings.
While there was an overall 13% decrease in contacts compared to Fiscal Year 2019, complaints increased by 26%. The five most common reasons for complaints were:
- Rights of children and youth in foster care,
- General caseworker duties,
- Case recording,
- Additional services, and
The report shares total and substantiated claim numbers by Department of Family and Protective Services region, complaint trends and recommendations, updates on 2019 recommendations, and activities that will be undertaken by the FCO in 2021, including developing an educational video.
What can CASA volunteers do to support the rights of children and youth in foster care?
Read the full 2020 report and complete recommendations, learn more about the Foster Care Ombudsman by visiting their website, and share the Ombudsman’s hotline number with those you are advocating for: 844-286-0769. Together, we can help ensure children and youth in foster care are safe and their rights are protected.