The Role of the Command Ombudsman
The Navy Family Ombudsman is vital to the welfare of the command's families, and in this unique role, as an officially appointed volunteer, the duties are wide-ranging. The Ombudsman has been trained to know when to provide information, when to be a referral source and how to be receptive to family members when they call. Ombudsmen serve as the primary communications link between the families and the command, and the channel of official information from the command to the families.
- Disseminate timely and critical information, regularly, through newsletters, care-line/info-lines, telephone trees, and e-mail.
- Supply information about and referrals to military and civilian support organizations like, Fleet and Family Support Centers, American Red Cross, Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, Chaplains, medical facilities, and legal assistance offices. These organizations are valuable resources in obtaining assistance for command family members.
- Provide support to family members seeking professional assistance and refer them for counseling. Ombudsmen, in their official role, are not counselors or social workers.
- Act as an advocate for the command families, using knowledge of the system, can help access the appropriate level of the chain of command for intervention and forward suitable requests or grievances while exercising confidentiality.