Become a Field Ombudsman


Become a Certified Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Our volunteers change lives. The moment they walk in the door of a long-term care facility, things change; drowsy eyes grow bright, shy smiles appear, call bells are answered more promptly. Lonely people are greeted by someone other than a staff person perhaps for the first time in days, if not weeks. Our volunteers benefit, too; they often meet amazing people of great wisdom and hear remarkable stories that might otherwise be lost.

To learn more about volunteering, please fill out our Volunteer Inquiry form.

If you are compassionate for serving the elderly or dependent adults, are 18 years or older, have not worked in a long-term care facility in the past 12 months, and ready to start volunteering, please complete and submit our Volunteer Application. Email your application to or send by mail to:

Attn: Volunteer Coordinator
1455 Madison Avenue
Redwood City, CA 94065

The Volunteer Coordinator will contact you about next steps.


You need to have a passion for working with elders and dependent adults – not as projects, but as people deserving of respect and quality care. All else flows from that central point.

The role of an Ombudsman Representative is to mediate, negotiate, and make sure the situation is resolved so that the elder is safe and well cared-for. If you have these qualities, we’d love to talk to you. The program does have the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Must not have worked in a long-term care facility in the past 12 months
  • Complete and submit an application packet
  • An interview with the Volunteer Coordinator and a Regional Supervisor
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Knowledge using a computer

Time Commitments

Although we’re well aware that life can change suddenly and without warning, OSSMC asks that our volunteer Ombudsman Representative strive to commit for:

  • 10-20 hours per month
  • for 2 years

Many of our volunteers find the work so rewarding that they stay with the program longer than two years, and often volunteer in excess of 20 hours per month. We are grateful for all who have served and those who continue to assist us in providing safe, quality care for residents of long-term care facilities in San Mateo county.


We offer a flexible 36 hour program which includes a combination of classroom instruction and online materials as well as field visits. After completing your initial training, you will receive the support and guidance of an experienced Regional Supervisor during an internship period. You will not be asked to go out on your own until you are confident and comfortable doing so.

Following successful completion of your internship, you will be certified by the State of California as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Representative. You’ll then be assigned to several facilities to visit, evaluate, and follow up on any complaints.

Technical and moral support is always available from your supervisor or another one of our staff members.

Continuing Education

California Long-Term Ombudsmen are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education each year in order to retain their certification. OSSMC offers free classes each month to ensure that all ombudsmen have a number of opportunities to meet this requirement.

To learn more about how to become a Certified Long-term Care Ombudsman Representative, contact us today.