OCPO History and Statutory Authority
In January 1996, the Executive Director of the Department of Human Services and Health, created OCPO to address individual case concerns and to ensure that DCFS was responding appropriately to allegations of child abuse or neglect.
Pursuant to Utah Code Annotated (UCA) § 62A-4a-208, which governs the ombudsman's office, was enacted during the 1998 Legislative Session. This law gives OCPO the role to act as an independent voice for children and families of Utah.
UCA § 62A-4a-208(3)(b) states:
"The ombudsman shall, upon receipt of a complaint from any person, investigate whether an act or omission of the division with respect to a particular child: (i) is contrary to statute, rule, or policy; (ii) places a child's health or safety at risk; (iii) is made without an adequate statement of reason; or (iv) is based on irrelevant, immaterial, or erroneous grounds."
UCA §62A-4a-208(7)(a) states:
"The ombudsman shall prepare a written report of the findings and recommendations, if any, of each investigation.
(b) The ombudsman shall make recommendations to the division if the ombudsman finds that:
(i) a matter should be further considered by the division;
(ii) an administrative act should be addressed, modified, or canceled;
(iii) action should be taken by the division with regard to one of its employees; or
(iv) any other action should be taken by the division.