The Office of Child Advocate (OCA) was established in 2002 as an agent of accountability regarding the Children's Division. The OCA operates under the Office of Administration and is independent of the Department of Social Services, Children's Division, the Department of Mental Health, and the Juvenile Court. The OCA provides an avenue through which citizens are able to obtain an independent and impartial review of disputed decisions, actions, and inactions regarding any child at risk of abuse, neglect, or other harm.
- Receive, investigate, and act on complaints regarding the Children's Division. The OCA makes case specific and system-wide recommendations as necessary.
- Coordinate mediation services to address allegations of abuse in school settings.
- Improve family services by examining laws, policies, and procedures and provide an annual report to the Governor and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
- Educate the public regarding child welfare and increase public awareness of the OCA.