The Office of Inspector General, by impartial evaluation, investigation and reporting, seeks to ensure the
integrity of department programs and operations including the fair, accurate and nondiscriminatory
delivery of benefits and services to qualified state residents.

Foster Care Ombudsman (FCO)

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During the 2019 and 2020 Legislative Sessions House Bills 2010 and 4094, relating to Foster Care, enabled an independent Foster Care Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is required to have experience as a former foster parent or in the area of child welfare.

The Ombudsman Shall:

  • Advocate for the rights of foster children and foster/kinship parents and work closely with all involved parties.
  • Investigate and resolve complaints by foster children and foster/kinship parents, or on the Foster Care Ombudsman's own initiative, regarding managed care services, public agencies, and social service agencies.
  • Monitor the development of regulations, policies and procedures related to the foster care system, including input to the Foster Children and the Foster and Kinship Parent Bills of Rights.
  • Provide assistance to foster children, foster/kinship parents on behalf of the best interests of foster children.
  • Undertake legislative advocacy and proposals for systemic reforms, to secure and ensure the legal, civil, and special rights of foster children.
  • Conduct programs of public education when necessary and appropriate, and advise the public of the services, purpose of, and procedures to contact the Foster Care Ombudsman office.

Request for Assistance



Pamela M. Woodman-Kaehler

Deputy Director

Elizabeth M. Hardy

Contact Information:

State Capitol Complex

Building 6, Room 817-B

Charleston, WV 25305

Phone: (304) 558-1117

Fax: (304) 558-1992