Want to connect with Navy families? Contact an Ombudsman!
Ombudsmen are an amazing resource for Navy families, and they can provide very practical assistance to Parent Centers. How Navy Ombudsmen can help you:
- Communicate with Navy families about your Parent Center’s services
- Help invite families to trainings and workshops both on and off the installation (they use social media extensively and communicate frequently)
- Provide practical help to Navy families for situations or family needs beyond the scope of Parent Center resources
- Provide insight to Parent Center staff about installation programs and resources from a Navy family point of view
Who ARE the Navy Ombudsmen, and what is their role in helping Navy families?
They are volunteers (usually spouses) screened, selected, and appointed by the Commanding Officer of each command and installation. Ombudsmen, usually Navy spouses volunteer to provide information and are vital links between the command leadership and the families within that command. They share information up and down the chain of command, including official messages and command information, and resources and information about anything that might help Navy families or improve their quality of life.
The support offered to Navy families includes referring them to Fleet and Family programs and civilian resources, and help to resolve family problems before the issues need attention from command. Navy families turn to the Ombudsman because they know he or she is also a member of the Navy family, and can relate to their situation.
Navy Reserve families have their own Ombudsmen, and they get special training to help families negotiate the significant changes they’ll experience when their Sailor is “activated” (called to active duty).
How can I contact a Navy Ombudsman?
Call the main number for an installation’s Fleet and Family Support office, and ask for the individual responsible for the Ombudsman Program. This individual will be your best point of contact (POC) to help you inform installation families about Parent Center services, and in publicizing trainings. For support for an individual family, the POC will probably want to know the Sailor’s command, and then ask the family to be in direct contact.
The Fleet and Family Support Center at your local installation can be found quickly on our interactive maps. Click on the map for your Parent Center Region, open the map by clicking on the hollow square icon on the upper right of the map, and scroll down the State listings to get Fleet and Family phone numbers for an installation.
You can help a family send a quick request directly to their Ombudsman by visiting the Navy Ombudsman Registry. No login is needed. You may get an error message on your browser telling you that this site is not safe. You may disregard the message; all .mil web addresses produce this result.
Do other branches of the military have Ombudsmen?
Yes, the Coast Guard. Other branches have similar support roles for volunteers – see links below.
Coast Guard Ombudsman Program
The Coast Guard Ombudsman Program is almost identical to the Navy’s program, including the responsibilities, required training, and the structured support for Ombudsmen across the service. The difference for Parent Centers is in how you might want to use them as a point of contact.
If you are working with an individual family, you can help the family send a quick request to their command’s Ombudsman through the Ombudsman Registry at https://cgombudsmanregistry.org/?m=login (no login is necessary). Click on the “Contact Your Ombudsman” icon at the bottom right of the page, select the region where the family is located, and in the new page, select the command. The email will go directly to that Ombudsman.
To work with the Ombudsmen in your State to inform Coast Guard families about Parent Center services, or to arrange trainings, contact a Family Resource Specialists (FRS). FRS staff are the Coast Guard equivalent of EFMP Family Support, and work for the Special Needs Program, or SNP. You can find the Family Resource Specialists listed for your State on our Interactive regional maps.
Each branch of the military has an organization that serves as the hub for family supports and services. You can find more information about these organizations by following the links below: