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Children’s Ombudsman launches free-phone complaints line

Children’s Ombudsman launches free-phone complaints line to make service more accessible to families

A new free-phone number for complaints calls to the Ombudsman for Children’s Office has been launched today (Monday) to make it easier for children and families to contact the Office with their concerns.

Children’s Ombudsman, Emily Logan, said:

“Last year my Office asked children and parents how to make our complaints service more accessible. Parents and children told us that having a free-phone number would definitely help, especially for families who may be struggling financially. We hope that by launching this free-phone line it will easier for children and families, in particular vulnerable children and families, to contact the office with any concerns they may have about services for children and young people provided by public bodies, schools and hospitals. We have a dedicated complaints team who are available to take calls from members of the public including children directly.”

The Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) is the independent body responsible for promoting children’s rights in Ireland. The powers and functions of the OCO are outlined in the Ombudsman for Children Act, 2002. One of the main functions of the OCO is the Complaints and Investigation role. The OCO can accept complaints from children and young people or adults on their behalf about services provided by public sector organisations. The majority of complaints received since the Office commenced in 2004 concern actions or inactions by organisations responsible for providing services to children relation to health, education and housing.

Emily added:

“To date we have had more than 2,000 complaints to our Office and in the vast majority of cases, complaints came from parents or extended family members on behalf of their child.”

It may not always be possible for the OCO to investigate every complaint that is made. However, the complaints team will redirect callers to other, more appropriate places to complain, if necessary. The issues raised through the OCO’s complaints handling service also help to inform the policy work of the Office.


Notes to Editors:

Photographs have been sent to photodesks by Photocall Ireland

The new freephone number is 1800 202040

For more information contact Nikki Gallagher on 01-8656803 or 086-8163246