Volunteer as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman

As a volunteer for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, you serve as a listening ear and voice for residents in long-term care settings such as skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, adult family homes, and boarding homes. Ombudsmen educate residents, staff, families, and the community about long-term care issues, resources, and resident rights and advocate for quality of life in long-term care settings.”

Certified LTC Ombudsmen serve residents by:

  • Providing them with information about their rights and available resources
  • Obtaining factual information about their complaints, investigating and resolving these complaints and providing them with protection of their rights
  • Assuring they receive fair treatment from service providers

Apply Online

Click here to apply online.

Applicants may also apply by printing this paper application and sending to:

Pierce County Long-Term Care Ombudsman
3602 Pacific Ave. Suite 200
Tacoma, WA 98418

Steps to Becoming a Certified Volunteer

1. Apply online or send in the online application, then complete an (in-person or virtual) interview.
2. Pass background check.
3. Complete federally mandated LTC Ombudsman coursework and receive certificate and badge.
4. Complete on-the-job shadowing.
5. Be assigned a facility and receive promotional and educational materials to help you succeed as an ombudsman within your assigned facility.


  • Working with staff and residents for quality care and quality of life for the residents
  • Pointing out successes as well as areas that need additional work and resources
  • Speak for those residents who are unable to speak for themselves
  • Advocate for resident choices
  • Negotiate solutions to problems
  • Speak for the residents’ choice
  • Work with facilities to develop policies and address areas of potential conflict


To become a certified volunteer, trainees must complete 36 hours of federally mandated course work. This can be broken down into weekly readings and classroom sessions, training videos and peer mentoring. Training is summarized by on-the-job shadowing. Ombudsman who complete the coursework and show strong advocacy skills receive a Washington State Ombudsman badge, certificate of completed coursework and are assigned one or more facilities.

Examples of coursework include:

  • Mandated reporting
  • Resident Rights
  • Communication with stakeholders
  • Role of Ombudsman

Program and peer support is available to help new volunteers navigate the world of resident rights and advocacy. The Ombudsman program holds bi-monthly volunteer meetings to help review cases and share updates in policies and procedures.

Make A Complaint

If you or someone you know resides in a licensed long-term care facility and have a complaint or need advocacy, please visit this webpage for more information.