Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 12. Office of Child and Family Ombudsman

Powers And Duties

41-3-1211. Powers and duties. The powers and duties of the ombudsman are:

(1) to respond to requests for assistance regarding administrative acts and to investigate administrative acts;

(2) to investigate circumstances surrounding reports that are provided to the ombudsman pursuant to 41-3-209;

(3) to inspect, copy, or subpoena records as needed to perform the ombudsman's duties under this part;

(4) to take appropriate steps to ensure that persons are made aware of the purpose, services, and procedures of the ombudsman and how to contact the ombudsman;

(5) to share relevant findings related to an investigation, subject to disclosure restrictions and confidentiality requirements, with individuals or entities legally authorized to receive, inspect, or investigate reports of child abuse or neglect;

(6) based on the investigations conducted, to provide oversight of the department's systems and policies for handling abuse and neglect cases;

(7) to periodically review department procedures and promote best practices and effective programs by working in consultation with the department to improve procedures, practices, and programs;

(8) to undertake, participate in, and consult with persons and the department in activities, including but not limited to conferences, inquiries, panels, meetings, or studies, that serve to improve the manner in which the department functions;

(9) to provide education on the legal rights of children;

(10) to apply for and accept grants, gifts, contributions, and bequests of funds for the purpose of carrying out the ombudsman's responsibilities; and

(11) to report annually to the attorney general and the children, families, health, and human services interim committee in accordance with 5-11-210. The report must be public and may contain recommendations from the ombudsman regarding systemic improvements for the department.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 354, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 73, Ch. 261, L. 2021; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 411, L. 2021; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 549, L. 2021.