Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson

We are the independent, impartial, and confidential agency that represents foster youth in California.

Our Role and Duties

 

We have the authority and responsibility to:
  • Resolve complaints about foster care rights and issues related to care, placement, and services.
  • Train on Foster Youth Rights and Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard (RPPS).
  • Provide Foster Youth Verification Letters for emancipated foster youth.
  • Share resources and information about local service providers.
  • Recommend policy and practice changes to improve the child welfare system.
  • Report annual findings to the Legislature and stakeholders.

     

Read Welfare and Institutions (WIC) Code 16164 to learn more about our office.

A pair of orange hands hold up back-to-black blue figures that carry scales. The words "California Foster Care Ombudsperson" are at the top.

We can...

  • Decide whether to investigate a complaint, or refer complaints to another agency for investigation.
  • Review laws related to foster youth and determine whether to update the Foster Youth Bill of Rights after every two-year legislative session.
  • Collect complaint-related data and present it to stakeholders and the public at appropriate conferences and other events. 
  • Access any local or state agency records that are needed to carry out the duties of our Office.
  • Meet and communicate with foster youth at their placements or elsewhere.
  • Consult with a committee to establish regional or local foster care ombudsperson offices to expedite investigations and resolving complaints.
  • Develop standardized information about the foster youth rights that counties, providers, and others must use.

We can NOT...

  • Change court decisions or case plans.
  • Address any personnel issues, such as hiring, firing, or changing a social worker.

The Foster Care Ombudsperson

Rochelle Trochtenberg has been the California Foster Care Ombudsperson since May 2018 and is the first former foster youth to hold this position. 

Our History

Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson

Senate Bill 933 passed on July 01, 1998 and created the Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson to represent and advocate for foster youth.

Extended Foster Care

Assembly Bill 12 was passed on June 22, 2010 and extended foster care services until age 21.

Foster Youth Bill of Rights

Assembly Bill 899 was passed on July 01, 2002 and created the Foster Youth Bill of Rights. 

Foster Youth Bill of Rights Update

Assembly Bill 1067 was passed on 09/30/2016 and created a working group of foster youth and foster parents to update the Foster Youth Bill of Rights.
Toll-free hotline
1-877-846-1602
fosteryouthhelp@dss.ca.gov
 
MS 8-13-25
744 P Street
Sacramento, CA 95814