Office of the Family and Children’s Ombuds Staff

Director Ombuds

Patrick Dowd is a licensed attorney with public defense experience representing clients in dependency, termination of parental rights, juvenile offender and adult criminal proceedings. He was also a managing attorney with the Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) Parents Representation Program and previously worked for OFCO as an ombuds from 1999 to 2005. Through his work at OFCO and OPD, Mr. Dowd has extensive professional experience in child welfare law and policy. Mr. Dowd graduated from Seattle University and earned his J.D. at the University of Oregon.

 


Ombuds

Cristina Limpens is a social worker with extensive experience in public child welfare in Washington State. Prior to joining OFCO, Ms. Limpens spent approximately six years as a quality assurance program manager for Children's Administration working to improve social work practice and promote accountability and outcomes for children and families.  Prior to this work, Ms. Limpens spent more than six years as a caseworker working with children and families involved in the child welfare system.  Ms. Limpens earned her MSW from the University of Washington. She joined OFCO in June 2012.

Mary Moskowitz is a licensed attorney with experience representing parents in dependency and termination of parental rights. Prior to joining OFCO, Ms. Moskowitz was a dependency attorney in Yakima County and then in Snohomish County. She has also represented children in At Risk Youth and Truancy proceedings; and has been an attorney guardian ad litem for dependent children. Ms. Moskowitz graduated from Grand Canyon University and received her J.D. from Regent University.

Elizabeth Bokan is a licensed attorney with experience representing Children’s Administration through the Attorney General’s Office. In that position she litigated dependencies, terminations, and day care and foster licensing cases. Previously, Ms. Bokan represented children in At Risk Youth, Child In Need of Services, and Truancy petitions in King County. Prior to law school she worked at Youthcare Shelter, as a youth counselor supporting young people experiencing homelessness. Ms. Bokan is a graduate of Barnard College and the University of Washington School of Law. 

Melissa Montrose is a social worker with extensive experience in both direct service and administrative roles in child protection since 2002. Prior to joining OFCO, Ms. Montrose was employed by the Department of Family and Community Services, New South Wales, Australia investigating allegations of misconduct against foster parents and making recommendations in relation to improving practice for children in out-of-home care. Ms. Montrose has also had more than five years of experience as a caseworker for social services in Australia and the United Kingdom working with children and families in both investigations and family support capacity. Ms. Montrose earned her MSW from Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia.


Special Projects / Database Administrator

Jessica Birklid is a public policy professional with experience in child welfare policy and research, health care, and organizational development. Prior to joining OFCO she helped hospital patients navigate the healthcare system and understand their rights and responsibilities. She also spent time conducting research and administratively supporting the Washington Commission on Children in Foster Care, with the goal of improving collaboration between the courts, child welfare partners and the education system. Ms. Birklid is a graduate of Western Washington University and the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance.