Anyone who has concerns regarding the services a child is or is not receiving from a state department can contact the OCA. Our staff is here to help and listen.

Please review the information below about what the OCA can and cannot do when accepting and reviewing complaints and concerns. Before filing a complaint, we request that you try to resolve your concerns directly with the department involved.

Frequently Asked Questions


The OCA can do the following:         

The OCA cannot do the following:
Serve as a resources and systems navigatorProvide legal advice
Offer the complainant options for resolving their concerns with the department involvedProvide direct advocacy services
Conduct case reviews to help identify and resolve overall systemic issuesSubstitute our judgment or overturn the actions or decisions of a state department, social worker, or judge.
Provide recommendations to state departments, as well as the Massachusetts Legislature, to improve the system or overall service deliveryDirectly respond to emergencies regarding child safety
Provide ongoing public educationInvestigate allegations of child abuse and/or neglect
 Review complaints concerning domestic relations issues (e.g., court rulings, custody orders, etc.)
 Intervene in any criminal or civil proceeding or any criminal investigation


File a Complaint