Child Welfare

Concerns or Complaints

A Handbook for Parents (Word or Adobe PDF) (free viewer)describes rights parents have during a child abuse and neglect assessment. Among some of these are the rights to know:

  • The nature of the reported child abuse and neglect.
  • How the assessment will be done and how long it will take.
  • The suspected harm or risk of harm to the child.
  • What the caseworker has found regarding the reported child abuse and neglect.
  • What could happen as a result of the child protective assessment.
  • What action the Department may take, if any.

 When a parent or family member is concerned about these or other rights, or any aspect of their interaction with casework staff, they are encouraged to contact the caseworker's supervisor or the program administrator in their region. Local phone numbers are listed in A Handbook for Parents.

 If a parent or other party is not able to resolve issues with department staff, they may contact the Children's Ombudsman. The Children's Ombudsman is independent of the Department of Health and Human Services, providing parents and other concerned parties an additional avenue for resolving concerns or complaints. You can call the Ombudsman at (207) 213-4773 or email