Information for service providers

The role of the NSW Ombudsman

The NSW Ombudsman is an independent and impartial watchdog. Our job is to make sure that the agencies we watch over fulfill their functions properly and improve their delivery of services to the public. We help agencies to be aware of their responsibilities to the public, to act reasonably and to comply with the law and best practice in administration.

Our main functions include dealing with complaints about government agencies, scrutinising systems, monitor and review community services, and provide training and education to agencies.

Our work with young people

We aim to be accessible and effective in our response to complaints from young people. We also assist agencies we oversight to respond appropriately to complaints from young people about their service.

How to support young people to make a complaint about other agencies

Firstly, young people need to know that it is alright to complain. You can assist by helping young people to write down their complaint or to contact us. Alternatively, with the permission of the young person you can make a complaint on their behalf.

You can explain the complaint process to young people so they have an understanding of how we manage complaints and are aware of what we can do. It is also important to support young people through the complaint process, which may involve providing information or even attending an interview with the young person.

Developing complaint handling guidelines for your agency

It is important that every agency providing services to young people has a process in place for dealing with complaints by young people. Youth policies in each state and territory highlight the importance of accessible services and participation by young people in decisions that affect them. By developing effective procedures for dealing with youth complaints, agencies acknowledge the importance of being accessible to young people.

We have developed guidelines for dealing with youth complaints, designed to assist agencies to more effectively engage with young people and handle complaints.

Employment-related child protection

Guidelines are also available to assist service providers to meet their obligations and develop policies and procedures for responding to child protection related allegations against their employees.

Training and education

We offer a range training workshops for government and non-government agencies, including:

We also offer workshops that cover tips for solving problems and making complaints for groups of young people and their families, carers and advocates.

For more information about our training and education activities, visit our training workshop and events page or contact our community education and training unit.

Youth Liaison Officer

Our Youth Liaison Officer (YLO) is responsible for developing strategies and providing advice to assist young people’s access to services offered by the NSW Ombudsman. The YLO also provides support, advice and assistance to young people about making a complaint.

The YLO regularly liaises with youth agencies and peak bodies about issues affecting young people. This helps to inform the work that we do and improve outcomes for young people.

It is also part of the YLO’s role to conduct presentations and information sessions to young people and agencies working with young people about the NSW Ombudsman and making a complaint.