CHARLESTON – As part of National Foster Care Month, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reminds residents of the Foster Care Ombudsman, a unit within DHHR’s Office of Inspector General that advocates for the rights of children in foster care, foster and resource parents, and kinship/relative caregivers, investigates and resolves complaints, and makes recommendations for child welfare reform.
“The Foster Care Ombudsman is here to help children and families as they navigate the child welfare system,” said Pamela M. Woodman-Kaehler, Foster Care Ombudsman Director. “As a foster parent, I’ve experienced firsthand how rewarding it is to provide stability for a child, as well as how important it is to have an advocate who can help address concerns throughout the process.”
When an individual contacts the Foster Care Ombudsman, a representative from the unit will reach out to gather information regarding the complaint and will follow up in a timely manner.
Anyone with a complaint, concern, or issue relating to the foster care system can contact the Foster Care Ombudsman at 304-558-1117 or FosterCareOmbudsman@wv.gov. A Request for Assistance form is available at https://www.wvdhhr.org/oig/fco.html.
Those interested in learning more about foster care and relative/kinship care resources can contact Mission West Virginia at www.missionwv.org or 304-512-0555. To view and apply for careers in the child welfare field, visit dhhr.wv.gov/Pages/Career-Opportunities.aspx. Individuals currently enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s social work program may receive tuition assistance. Email DHHREAP@wv.gov or call 304-558-6700 for more information.