Family Justice Services Western
Final Evaluation

2004-FCY-8E

APPENDIX 2: FAMILY JUSTICE WESTERN SURVEY RESULTS

Overall there were 415 family justice cases in Western Region in the period covered by the survey (February 2001 to June 2002). Of these, 150 individuals signed consent forms permitting follow-up. IHRD conducted structured telephone interviews with 86 individuals who participated in the survey. The remainder could not be reached. This was not unexpected as typically these individuals are in transition and are quite likely to have had a change in address or phone number since the consent forms were completed.

The total adult population of program participants is 830, of which 150 consented to follow-up. Survey results apply only to the 150 individuals included in the sample frame, as there is no guarantee that the 150 are representative of the total population. Survey results should be interpreted with care, as approximately 43% of the individuals we attempted to contact could not be reached. If there are significant differences between those who completed the questionnaire and those who could not be reached, this may affect the degree to which survey results are representative of the sample frame. There is 90% confidence that results are within plus/minus 5.8% of reported values. Where the total number of responses is less than 86 for a particular question, confidence intervals will vary.

Awareness / Referral

1. How did you first hear about FJSW?

Response Number
Friend / family 15
Courts contacted / told me 29
Lawyer 18
Legal Aid 3
School / community counsellors 4
Social services worker 5
FJSW 5
Mediator 2
Various other responses 5

2. Who referred you to the services at FJSW?

Option # Responses Percentage
Private lawyer 20 23%
Court staff 36 42%
Legal Aid 6 7.0%
Friend / family 5 6%
Other 19 22%

3. Why did you get involved in the services at FJSW?

Response Number
Recommended 16
Had to / mandatory 32
Better than / To avoid court 2
Access / to see my child 2
Seeking or work out support / custody 8
Help for me / kids 10
Get more information on various issues 10
Various other responses 6

4. Did you experience any problems / barriers in accessing the services of FJSW?

Option # Responses Percentage
Yes 6 7.0%
No 80 93.0%

If yes, describe these problems / barriers

Issue / Problem Number
Didn't have extra money for child care 4
Transportation 3
If you weren't referred, you weren't welcome 1

Services Provided

5. In which of the following services did you participate (check all that apply)?

Option # Responses Percentage
Initial intake 49 57.0%
Information sessions 85 99%
Mediation 54 63%
Mediation-child support 43 50.0%
Mediation-spousal support 16 19%
Mediation-custody and access 38 44%
Recalculation of support 7 8%
Counselling services 24 28%
Other 1 1%

6. For each service you were involved in, please answer the following questions:

By # Responses:

Option Legal Representation? Agreement? Service
Yes No Yes No Partial In-person Phone
Intake X X X X 35 14
Information session X X 83 2
Mediation 5 47 34 16 3 51 2
Support recalculation X X X
Counselling X X X
Other 1 1 2

By percentage:

Option Legal Representation? Agreement? Service
Yes No Yes No Partial In-person Phone
Intake X X X X 71 28
Information session X X 98 2
Mediation 10 90 64 30 6 96 4
Support recalculation X X X
Counselling X X X
Other 100 100 100

Time on Service:

Service Total Time (in hrs) Start—Finish Time (days)
Amount Number Amount Number
Intake Less than 1/2?? hr. 7 1 day 41
1/2?? hr – 1 hr. 24 More than 1 day 2
More than 1 hr. 6
Information session Less than 1 hr. 1 X (not asked as it is a standard one session)
1 – 3 hrs. 80
More than 3 hrs. 3
Mediation Less than 1 hr. 1 Less than 5 days 45
1 – 3 hrs. 39 5 – 15 days 3
More than 3 hrs. 9 More than 15 days 3
Support recalculation X (no information) X (no information)
Counselling Less than 2 hrs. 8 Less than 2 days 11
2 – 4 hrs. 14 2 – 4 days 8
More than 4 hrs. 2 More than 4 days 4
Other 3 hrs. 1 1 day 1
4 hrs. 1 5 days 1
Total Less than 5 hrs. 44 Less than 5 days 48
5 – 10 hrs. 33 5 – 10 days 11
More than 10 hrs. 8 More than 10 days 7

Recalculation

7. A. Are you a payor of child support who has had a recalculation of the amount to be paid?

Option # Responses Percentage
Yes 2 2%
No 84 98%

(Reader's note: For most people this question was premature. While recalculation process had begun, they had not yet been informed by FJSW of the outcome.)

Satisfaction

8. Please rate your satisfaction with each of the services in which you participated, on the issues presented.

Legend:

1= very dissatisfied, 2= dissatisfied, 3= neutral, 4=satisfied and 5=very satisfied

By number of response
Service Timeliness of Service Qualifications of Staff
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
Intake 6 2 7 12 20 3 2 2 8 33
Information session 2 2 14 29 38 1 1 1 20 62
Mediation 4 3 7 19 20 3 - 4 10 36
Support recalculation X - - 1 1 3
Counselling 1 - 2 2 7 - - 1 1 10
Services overall 2 2 11 24 36 - - 5 17 53

By number of response (cont'd)
Service Fairness and Safety of Process / Approach of Staff Outcome / Resolution
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
Intake 3 - 5 9 31 7 2 3 8 28
Information session 2 1 2 26 54 3 3 9 22 48
Mediation 4 2 2 11 34 4 3 8 13 25
Support recalculation - - 1 - 5 1 - - - 5
Counselling - 1 1 - 10 - 1 1 2 8
Services overall 1 1 7 20 46 5 5 9 14 42
 
By percentage
Service Timeliness of Service Qualifications of Staff
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
Intake 12 4 15 25.5 43 6 4 4 17 69
Information session 2 2 16 34 45 1 1 1 23 73
Mediation 7 6 13 36 38 6 - 7 19 68
Support recalculation X - - 20 20 60
Counselling 8 - 17 17 58 - - 8 8 83
Services overall 3 3 15 32 48 - - 7 23 71

By percentage (cont'd)
Service Fairness and Safety of Process / Approach of Staff Outcome / Resolution
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
Intake 6 - 10 19 65 15 4 6 17 58
Information session 2 1 2 31 63 3 3 11 26 56
Mediation 7 4 4 21 64 7 6 15 24 47
Support recalculation - - 17 - 83 17 - - - 83
Counselling 8 - 8 - 83 8 - 8 17 67
Services overall 1 1 9 27 61 7 7 12 19 56

Comments:

Service Survey Participants Comments
Intake Some people couldn't recall intake at all or how long it was. Some people said the intake call was very short. Many felt it was very good (11).
Information session The majority found them very good and informative. Some found them too short, a few too long.
Mediation The majority found the service good and better than court. Some cases ended up going to court anyway. Others felt more compassion could have been shown.
Support recalculation Not many comments. Many people didn't participate or commented that they felt they couldn't rate it.
Counselling Showed more compassion than mediator or lawyer. Good for the children.
Services Overall The majority found it a very good service overall. Some said they are still trying to get child support. Counselling very good (2).

Impact of services

9. We are interested in the impact the services provided had on you. Please answer yes or no to the following comments.

Aspect of service Yes No
# % # %
It increased my awareness of legal processes / options. 68 79% 18 21%
Most comments outlined that the information was very helpful in letting people know what their options were. Some found they already knew what was being said.
It facilitated referral to other services. 54 64% 31 36%
The main points outlined in the comments indicated that: counselling was referred in three cases; that many people already knew about the other services—felt they didn't apply in their case, but knew that they were there to take advantage of if needed.
It promoted and facilitated mediation as opposed to court settlement. 64 74% 21 24%
Many people said they ended up having to go to court anyway. Many people found that mediation definitely was promoted.
It helped my parenting. 63 73% 22 26%
Helped parent and child cope with issues. Explained to parent how to deal with children. Helped children deal with divorce issues—counselling was seen as very helpful with this.
It reduced costs to me in the process. 41 48% 42 49%
Still has to go to court—will have to pay lawyer.
Doesn't cost anyway—using legal aid.
It certainly did reduce costs (12).
It didn't make any difference (8).
Other (specify). 1 1% 7 8%
Counselling—really helped the children.

Overall Opinion of Services

10. Were you helped in your dealing with the issues of separation / divorce by the FJSW?

Option # Responses Percentage
Yes 45 52%
No 41 48%

Please explain your answer:

Yes response:

Got lots of information / answered questions 9
Explained stages / what to expect 8
Helped with how to deal with children 5
Counselling 4
Explained legal terms 2
Helpful and supportive 2
Various other responses 5

No response:

Already separated 11
No Divorce—only looking for child support / access 6
No real help—just got some information 4
No one-on-one / face-to-face meetings 2
Various other responses 7

11. Have you used family justice services (e.g. court) other than FJSW in the past?

Option # Responses Percentage
Yes 23 27%
No 63 73%

If yes, how would you compare FJSW with your past family justice experiences?

Option # Responses Percentage
FJSW better experience 11 50.0%
FJSW worse experience 4 18%
Both processes the same 7 32%

Please explain your answer:

FJSW Better Experience:

Keeps you out of court—less stressful 3
FJSW listened—court ignored 2
Got more information / compassion 2
Learned how child was affected by separation 1
Explained things more than court 1
Teaches you to get along 1
Money saver 1

FJSW Worse Experience:

Treated unfairly 1
Outcome worse 1
Didn't get hep / outcome wanted 1
Frustration—ex wouldn't cooperate, FJSW couldn't make him 1

Both the Same:

Both did same job 3
Still didn't get justice / outcome desired 2
Both didn't have a lot to do with Legal Aid 1
FJSW took time needed for explanation, but so did lawyer 1

12. Would you use the FJSW services again if required?

Option # Responses Percentage
Yes 78 91%
No 8 9%

Please explain:

Reasons Yes:

Better / easier / more information than going to court 11
Very helpful / understanding 7
Saves money 7
Counselling / mediation really helped 5
Helped children understand what is going on 4
Very informative 4

Reasons No:

FJSW cannot enforce issues / has no power 2
Gave wrong information 1
Caused break-down of parent-child relationship 1

13. Would you recommend these services to others?

Option # Responses Percentage
Yes 77 90%
No 9 10%

Please explain:

Reasons Yes:

Good information / very informative 15
Helpful / understanding 15
Better / easier than going to court 7
Information sessions very good 4
Saves time / money 3
Useful in dealing with children 3
Not complicated 1
Counselling / mediation helpful 1

Reasons No:

No help 2
Didn't get child support 1
Treatment 1
Forced to go 1
Needs compassion shown to clients 1

14. Do you have any suggestions as to how to improve these services? (Prompt: additional services / supports, changing approaches?)

Response / Suggestion Number
More counsellors/more counselling services 9
Screening process / separate the groups according to needs 9
Make general public aware of services / advertise 5
Staff shouldn't take sides 2
Keep in touch with clients 2
Treat each case unique 2
Shorten information session 2
Other responses 14

Demographics

Gender:

Option # Responses Percentage
Female 61 71%
Male 25 29%

Age:

Age Group # In Group Percentage
20 - 24 6 7%
25 - 29 19 22%
30 - 34 13 15%
35 - 39 24 28%
40 - 44 14 16%
45 - 49 7 8%
50 - 54 3 3%

What do you do for a living?

Option # Responses Percentage
Working 45 52%
Homemaker 8 9%
Unemployed 6 7%
Social Assistance 17 20%
Student 6 7%
Other 4 5%

Nature of prior relationship:

Option # Responses Percentage
Common-law 18 21%
Married 59 70%
Never lived together 7 8%

Years together:

Group # In Group Percentage
0 - 4 21 24%
5 - 9 29 34%
10 - 14 22 26%
15 - 19 9 10%
20 - 24 2 2%
25 - 29 3 3%

Nature of relationship at present:

Option # Responses Percentage
Separated 38 44%
Divorced 38 44%
Reconciled 1 1%
Never together 7 8%

Please rate your ability to resolve issues with your ex-spouse:

Option/Rating Very Poor Poor Neutral Good Very Good
# % # % # % # % # %
At time of separation 49 57% 17 19% 6 7% 6 7% 5 6%
At present 28 33% 5 6% 20 23% 21 24% 10 12%

Time apart (in months):

Group # In group Percentage
6 months or less 8 9%
7 - 12 months 24 28%
13 - 24 months 25 29%
25 - 36 months 8 9%
37 - 48 months 7 8%
49 - 60 months 3 3%
61 - 72 months 2 2%
73 - 84 months 2 2%
85 - 96 months 2 2%
Greater than 8 years 5 6%

Dependent children:

Option # Responses Percentage
Yes 84 98%
No 2 2%

If yes, number:

# Children # In Group Percentage
0 2 2%
1 30 35%
2 45 52%
3 9 10%

And ages:

Age Group # In Group Percentage
Less than 5 34 23%
5 - 9 52 35%
10 - 14 42 29%
15 - 19 18 12%
Greater than 19 1 1%

Please describe your current custodial situation:

Option # Responses Percentage
Sole custody mother 46 55%
Sole custody father 6 7%
Joint custody 25 30%
Split custody 3 4%
Other 4 5%


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