Client: A Family Court Services Unit of a California Superior Court

The Challenge: The client sought program improvements that would benefit family court service and facilitator clients, improve program efficiency, and enhance the program’s coordination with other Superior Court operations.

Our Approach

Courts often struggle with evaluating the effectiveness of programs such as family court services.  To be successful, family law services must recognize the skills of non-judicial staff and be flexible enough to meet the unique needs of families.  At the same time, they must also create service standards, maximize the efforts of program staff and be able to measure and communicate the value of their services.  We mapped the flow of family law cases, determined average times for and between events, and compared the level and delivery of services with that of other California courts.

The Results

  • Developed performance and service quality measures, including:
    • the effectiveness of current and alternative methods of service delivery for family law facilitators (e.g. group workshops, videos, self-help centers, use of paraprofessionals);
    • the timing of mediation on agreement rates;
    • the average amount of time families spend in mediation; and
    • the proportion of parties reaching agreement.
  • Enhanced coordination of family court mediation and facilitator services with clerk and courtroom operations.
  • Improved services to clients, and
  • Increased management controls and the use of technology.

Consultants: Kate Harrison and Michael Semler

For more information about this project, please click here to request the Executive Summary.

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