The Legislature created the four ombudspersons for families positions in 1991. The office was established as an independent state agency. In 1994, the four ombudspersons became the Office of Ombudspersons for Families, separate and apart from the related minority councils.
As of 2011, the statute requires the agency to operate independently, but to collaborate with the Indian Affairs Council, the Council on Affairs of Chicano/Latino People, the Council on Black Minnesotans, and the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans. The four councils appoint community specific boards who select the ombudsperson for their specific community.