OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Patrick Dowd as director of the Washington State Office of the Family and Children’s Ombuds (OFCO), an office that investigates complaints about agency actions related to children welfare services and child protection.
Dowd has over 25 years of experience working in the child welfare system. He began his career as an attorney representing children and parents in child welfare proceedings and has worked with OFCO for nine years, most recently serving as acting director.
“The Office of the Family and Children’s Ombuds provides crucial, independent oversight for children, parents, foster parents and all those involved with our state child welfare system. The ombuds identifies gaps that leave children at risk, and recommends changes to better serve children and families,” said Inslee. “Patrick’s knowledge and experience will fit well with the unique role of this office and our continuous improvement efforts to protect children from maltreatment.”
Dowd succeeds Mary Meinig who retired as OFCO director last November.
“I am honored by the opportunity to serve the citizens of Washington state as director ombuds and am committed to the primary goals of our child welfare system -to protect children from abuse and neglect, and to preserve and strengthen families,” Dowd said. “I am eager to uphold the reputation OFCO has established as an entity that is independent, fair and effective.”
In addition to his work at OFCO, Dowd was a public defense attorney in King County, and managing attorney with the Washington State Office of Public Defense, Parents Representation Program. He is a graduate of Seattle University and the University Of Oregon School Of Law. He and his wife and children live in Seattle.
Dowd’s appointment became effective Jan. 16, 2015.