For those of you who may not be familiar with the Coast Guard Ombudsman Program, it is a command program intended to improve communication between the command and Coast Guard family members. Ombudsmen are communication links, provide information and referral resources and act as advocates for family members. The ombudsman is an official member of the unit command staff, a resource for unit families, and the primary link and communicator of information between families and the command. They provide the command with a better understanding of the welfare of the command/unit's families. They ensure Coast Guard families have the information needed to meet the challenges of a military lifestyle and better prepare for emergencies. The Ombudsman also helps families when issues or emergent situations arise, and ease the sacrifices families must make in order to allow personnel to carry out Coast Guard missions.
Your Ombudsman's role is to:
- Act as a source of information and outreach for all situations - for routine matters and in times of crisis;
- Distribute information to families regarding education and scholarships, childcare subsidies, work-life and local resources;
- Keep families abreast of local units' movements during deployment(s) and training exercises, while minimizing worry, stress and unnecessary rumors;
- Familiarize families with a variety of Coast Guard organizations, programs and/or opportunities;
- Direct a grievance or suggestion to the proper department(s);
- Provide direction and information to families in the event of a disaster response situation;
- Refer families to professional help or guidance when challenges arise, in effort to resolve family issues before extensive command attention is required.
Your Ombudsman's role is NOT to:
- Organize social events for the unit
- Loan money
- Provide childcare
- Arrange temporary housing
- Provide counseling
- Sponsor incoming families
Contact Mrs. Jennifer Kuivinen, Base Boston's Ombudsman, via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (413) 885-9089.