Volunteer Ombudsman

Volunteer Ombudsmen expand our capacity to address the needs of long-term care residents.

If you become a volunteer ombudsman, you will work under the supervision of paid staff as an advocate for residents of long-term care facilities (nursing homes, residential care homes and assisted living residences.) You will be assigned to facilities in your community and make frequent, unannounced visits.

During these visits, you will respond to resident complaints, report serious problems to supervisors, and provide residents and their families with information that helps improve residents’ quality of life and quality of care.  

Volunteer ombudsmen must be committed to promoting and protecting the right of each resident to self determination and a dignified existence.


Volunteer ombudsmen must be at least 18 years old. You must complete an application be interviewed by our paid staff, provide references, and consent to a criminal background check.

Once accepted into our program, volunteers complete 20 hours of classroom training and 30 hours of field training to become a certified volunteer ombudsman. Volunteers are required to attend approximately 10 in-service trainings each year. You must provide your own transportation, but we reimburse for mileage. We ask for a commitment of 3-5 hours per week for a minimum of 1 year.

How to apply

Complete our volunteer ombudsman application and submit it by email or mail.

  • To email your application
  • To mail your application
    • Complete the application by typing directly on the fillable PDF form, then print the form OR
    • Print the blank form and fill it out, making sure to print clearly
    • Mail your application to:
      Volunteer Coordinator
      Vermont Legal Aid
      177 Western Avenue, Suite 1
      St. Johnsbury, VT  05819

Find out more

This video from Across the Fence features former State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Jackie Majoros and Russ Tonkin, who was a long-time volunteer ombudsman. Watch to find out more about the volunteer ombudsman program.


Alice Harter, Regional Ombudsman, 1-800-769-6728