WHAT IS AN OMBUDSMAN?
The Navy Family Ombudsman is vital to the welfare of USS Theodore Roosevelt 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.
An ombudsman is a spouse or other family member of a TR crewmember who has volunteered their time and effort to guiding other families through various problems that may arise from time to time. The ombudsmen will not solve the problem for you, but they will try to point you in the right direction to help you solve the problem on your own. The roles and functions of command family ombudsmen are varied:
- Serve as the primary link/liaison between TR families and the command. Serve as a communicator of information between the command and command families.
- Communicate regularly with TR families. This includes the TR Newsletter, and the TR Careline and message service which allows you to leave messages for the Ombudsmen.
- Provide information and outreach to command family members. Interact and cooperate with organizations and military offices such as Family Service Centers, chaplain's office, medical treatment facilities, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, American Red Cross, and legal assistance offices. These organizations are valuable resources in obtaining assistance for command family members.
- Refer individuals in need of professional assistance to appropriate resources. Ombudsmen may provide support to individuals and refer them for counseling. Ombudsmen can not provide counseling themselves.
- Act as an advocate for the command family members. Ombudsmen, by using their knowledge of the system, can help access the appropriate level of chain of command for intervention and for the forwarding of appropriate requests/grievances while exercising confidentiality.
- Ombudsmen's responsibilities do not include social duties - these roles are filled by the spouse support group chairpersons/presidents.
Please contact of your TR Ombudsman, if you need help or have any questions.
Michelle V. Thomas
757-445-0345, or in an emergency: 757-444-6289
We are available to assist you between the hours of 9am-8pm EST If this is a true EMERGENCY such as a death, accident, illness or personal crisis we can be reached 24 hours.
- In Norfolk, VA: (757) 445-0345, Option 1
- Call Toll-Free: 1-877-505-1024
- Call Toll-Free to Fleet & Family Support Center:
1-800-372-5463 and ask for the TR Careline
- If you have an emergency, and cannot reach an ombudsman, call (757) 444-NAVY (6289).