The word “Ombudsman” is Swedish. It means “citizen’s representative.” An ombudsman is someone who helps people, young or old, who have problems with government services.
An ombudsman takes complaints from people who feel they were not treated fairly or listened to by government bodies. The ombudsman can find out what happened and suggest ways to fix the problem.
The Ombudsman is Mr. Paul Dubé. He has about 100 people working for him who take complaints, conduct investigations and help people resolve their problems with Ontario public bodies.
The Ombudsman works for you and everyone in Ontario. He is appointed by the Legislative Assembly to be independent and impartial. This means he does not work for the government or any political party.
The Ombudsman’s Children and Youth Unit can take complaints from any young person or adult about child protection services, such as children’s aid societies, foster homes and group homes, secure treatment programs and youth custody facilities.
We will listen, answer questions and find out what happened and try to fix the problem.
We can provide information about your rights, investigate problems, connect you with others who can help, and more.
We also take complaints about many other public bodies that affect young people, such as school boards, colleges and universities, and developmental services.
You can read some of examples of how we helped young people.
You have the right to be safe, to be heard and to be part of all decisions about you that affect you. You have many other rights that we will explain to you when you contact us.
Contact the Children and Youth Unit if you have a question or a problem with a children’s aid society, a foster home or group home, a secure treatment program or youth custody facility.
Find out how to contact us and make a complaint.
We will answer your questions and let you know how we can help. Our staff are experts in dealing with child protection agencies and services.
No, everyone has the right to contact the Ombudsman’s Office. Young people in care have the right to contact us privately without delay. If you experience any troubles, let us know immediately by phone, email or in person.
We will contact you for more information. We might ask you whether you have already complained to anyone about the problem, and what happened. We might contact the organization and the people you are complaining about. We will try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible, and we will let you know the outcome.
The Ombudsman and our staff are not advocates. We do not take sides when we look into a complaint. But we can give you information about your rights, find out what caused the problem, recommend ways to fix it, and make sure you are treated fairly.
Yes, a parent or caregiver or any other adult can contact the Ombudsman for you, but we might need to get more information from you about your complaint.
Let us know what the problem is. We can get answers. We can find out if you are being treated fairly, put you in touch with others who can help, or suggest ways to fix the problem. Depending on what we find out, the Ombudsman might even conduct an investigation and make recommendations that could help you and many other young people.
Yes, you can complain by phone. You can also use email, fill out a form on our website, or even make your complaint by regular mail or in person. View our contact info.
But please do not complain through our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts, because posts there are not private.
All government bodies must answer the Ombudsman’s questions and co-operate with his investigations. But the Ombudsman cannot force them to make changes. He makes recommendations, which means he suggests ways to fix the problem. Most of the time, the government or agency makes the changes that the Ombudsman recommends.
Nothing. Our services are free.
Yes, we record some calls, but we keep the recordings private.
No. Most of the time, the Ombudsman helps people without having to do an investigation. The Ombudsman does not have to look into a complaint if it is outdated, or not serious, or about something that is not part of his job (for example, if it is something outside of Ontario).
If you have a complaint about how we handled your case, you can send us a complaint in writing and one of our managers will review it.
Mail: Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, 483 Bay Street, 10th Floor, South Tower, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9