Since its creation in 1809 the Swedish Ombudsman Office has been the model for the public sector Ombudsman, and set the definition that is still accepted today: a public official appointed by the legislature to receive and investigate citizen complaints against administrative acts of government. Ombudsman is a gender-neutral term, used throughout the world by women and men who hold the office. The Dayton-Montgomery County Ombudsman's Office was created in 1971 to:
- Provide investigative services of administrative acts of government agencies, except elective offices, upon complaint by any citizen.
- Provide convenient public service to assist individual citizens in getting fair treatment from governmental agencies.
- Provide an impartial agency for investigating citizen complaints.
- Further improve citizens' confidence in local government services.
- Generate public information through media which will lead to better community understanding of urban dilemmas.
- Provide an opportunity for constructive public service by volunteers.
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) was founded by the Older Americans Act and joined the Ombudsman's Office in 1979. Long Term Care Ombudsmen are specialized staff and volunteers who give a voice to consumers of services in nursing homes, county homes, residential care facilities, group homes, and in private residences. They work with individuals and facilities to verify and resolve complaints.