Equal Access Project

Providing Materials for Providers of Legal Self-Help Service

Self-Help Tracking and Reporting Survey (STARS)

STARS for Court-Based Family Law Facilitator and Self-Help Center Programs

Family Law Facilitator Program

Assembly Bill 1058 requires that the superior court in each of California’s 58 counties to maintain an Office of the Family Law Facilitator, with a California licensed attorney with experience in family law, to provide litigants with free education, information, and assistance with title IV-D child support issues. A family law facilitator helps demystify courtroom procedures and humanizes the court system. The family law facilitator helps ensure accurate child support orders by helping parents prepare their legal papers correctly and more fully understand how to present their cases in court.

The Office of the Family Law Facilitator receives Title IV-D funding for providing assistance on cases that are currently receiving services from the local child support agency and on issues involving paternity, child support order establishment, modification, enforcement or health insurance.

Self-Help Program

California Rule of Court 10.960 provides that self-help services are a core function of the courts.  Court self-help centers provide assistance to self-represented litigants. A court self-help center must include an attorney and other qualified staff who provide information and education to self-represented litigants about the justice process, and who work within the court to provide for the effective management of cases involving self-represented litigants. The information and education provided by court self-help centers must be neutral and unbiased, and services must be available to all sides of a case.

In 2018, the State Budget provides for an additional $19.1 million in funding for self-help services in addition to the previously budgeted $11.2 million for a total of $30.3 million. The Budget Act requires that the Judicial Council submit a report to the Legislature by November 30, 2020 regarding the use of those funds and assessing the costs and benefits of different ways of providing services and considering different ways of providing services based on case types.


Family Law Facilitator and Self-Help Center staff have reported customer encounter statistics to the Judicial Council for the past 15 years. Using a Microsoft Access based program called FLFED, the information reported by courts has been used to provide courts with a detailed picture of their own AB 1058 and self-help customers and the services provided by the court, to report statewide statistics to the Department of Child Support Services, and to inform Judicial Branch policy and budget decision-making.

Reporting system refresh

In Fiscal Year 18-19, the Judicial Council is providing courts with a new and streamlined version of the encounter reporting tool, called the Self-Help Tracking and Reporting Survey or STARS. This new tool was created based on a summit with family law facilitators and self-help providers, with follow up calls and email review.  The tool has also been piloted with a number of courts and their feedback has been incorporated. The goal is that the new tool will deliver a greatly improved experience for court staff. Improvements in STARS include:

  • A leaner set of items to report on each encounter;
  • A much more rapid reporting experience (less than 30 seconds per encounter);
  • Web-based, responsive interface that can be used on a desktop, tablet or phone;
  • Cloud-based data reporting with no more data transfer;
  • Rapid access to reports and statistics on the court’s own data; and
  • Access to query tools and dashboards to design custom reports for a court.

Technical Details

STARS uses the Qualtrics Survey Data platform, which is licensed to the Judicial Council. There is no cost to the local court for implementing the new reporting system. STARS is available through a unique internet link sent to each court by the Judicial Council. Confidential data is not collected through this system. No time metrics or workload data are collected through this system. Courts have access to their own data and statewide aggregate information, but not to other courts’ data.


The Judicial Council plans to carry out the changeover from FLFED to STARS in all courts during the months of September and October. Detailed documentation, training materials, recorded webinars, and access to help on the system will be available through the JRN website.

Contact: Cassandra McTaggart, Principal Manager I, Center for Families, Children & the Courts, stars.support@jud.ca.gov



What information is or will be available to the Court?

The designated point of contact staff will receive:

Program data (monthly, quarterly, semi and annual)

Local data (if more than one location, the contact receives data from each location)

Will staff be able to see each other’s data by location? Can the data be requested?

Each county has a primary point of contact staff. This person and/or persons will have access to county program data. If you require specific data via one of the supported data formats, please submit your request to stars.support@jud.ca.gov and briefly describe the need, type, format, date range (if applicable) and expected date of completion.

Note: Data release will begin early next year in January 2019.

Can data be shared at these intervals?

  1. Weekly;
  2. Monthly;
  3. Quarterly;
  4. Mid-year; and
  5. Annually


Access to report data is not yet available.  Data reports will be available Can data be shared at these intervals?

  1. Weekly;
  2. Monthly;
  3. Quarterly;
  4. Mid-year; and
  5. Annually
sometime in November for Group 1 Counties; Group 2 (likely by December).

Court programs need (for internal reporting purposes) real-time access to the reported data.  Can FLF leads obtain access to real time data during the implementation phase?

Is there way to know how many records each staff has entered throughout the day?

If you are the Point of Contact for your county, you will have access to daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual data reports.

Access to report data is not yet available.  Data reports will be available sometime in November for Group 1 Counties; Group 2 (likely by December).

The reports are visually interesting, can I get the raw data in excel or some other format?

Yes, data will be made available in .CSV, .XlS, and SPSS compatible format.

I was wondering how to run reports of the data that we have already entered. Do I need a separate link?

At this time, the STARS report templates are not ready for court dissemination. We don’t have the data to populate most survey data points. When we have enough data, your court will be among the first wave of courts to receive individual links.  Reports will include monthly, quarterly, and annual survey reports.

When can we expect to see the reports?

Group 1 implementation courts can expect to receive their dedicated survey reports by mid-December (for group 1 [of 4]). All other courts will receive their reports sometime in January/February.

Is there a way for me to look at the customer surveys that have been turned in? Can I access analytical data like how many were submitted per day?

If you are the Point of Contact for your county, you will have access to daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual data reports.

Access to report data is not yet available.  Data reports will be available sometime in November for Group 1 Counties; Group 2 (likely by December).


When entering daily stats, I noticed there are no IV-D workshop [listed] as options. There is a family law child support (non IV-D) workshop option, for workshops the provide IV-D services, how do we document those using the daily stats tool?

Daily stats data collection tool only collects non IV-D workshop services and is NOT intended for customers that participate in IV-D workshop services.  IV-D workshop participants should have Customer Surveys completed. For non-IV-D workshops, we encourage you to complete the Customer Survey as well, but are providing the option of just listing the numbers in the workshop, if you do not have time to enter all customers individually.

If the customer attends a IV-D workshop, the customer needs to complete the STARS survey.

Entry of daily stats—can the daily stats be submitted to the JC at the end of the day?

Is it just one entry per site?

Or can each person at that site enter their own daily stats?

Yes, daily stats can be submitted at the end of the day.

No, every person can enter their own data.

Each person can enter their own daily stats.

Paralegals work in the courtroom preparing orders after hearing for pro per matters.   If both parties are pro per and both have appeared at the hearing, do we count those as two customers?  Or just one transaction, therefore one customer?

If both parties are at the hearing – count it as 2.

If only one party is there, count it as 1.

The assumption is that there will probably be some explanation and guidance to both parties when the OAH is provided to them.

For counties like ours that capture brief contacts in another system. Can we report this data less often than daily?

Yes. SHC/FLF sites have the option to report daily or monthly stats. To assist with this data collection requirement, we are providing two dedicated data collection links. The first link is for counties that prefer to collect and report their brief contacts daily. The second dedicated link is for counties that have a system in place that tracks daily contacts but prefers to only report all brief encounters monthly.

Note: Counties are encouraged to report their daily stats at the end of each service day. Reporting daily ensures the data is captured accurately and will save time from having to reconstruct the equivalent of service days into the monthly report. If the court reports daily data, our data collection platform will bundle the information in accordance with what is required in the monthly statistics report.

Could staff at the JCC clarify “Brief Information and Referral” as opposed to “Customers Not Recorded?”

If SHC/FLF staff is providing information, then this interaction should be recorded as brief Information and referral.

If the interaction is something less than that, they can record as Customers Not Reported, but write a short description of the types of service provided to customers and send to the Judicial Council to assist in understanding what is included in this count. It will be critical to know if you use this to provide a substantial amount of service, but just were not able to include it in your Customer Surveys.

Is there a reason why the full survey and the daily statistics/workshops are in separate links?  The daily statistics make sense to be separate, but the workshops should be part of the regular survey.

Customers attending workshops should be included in the Customer Survey whenever possible.  This is a back-up for larger workshops or in situations where any customers are missed.  The workshop form is just to indicate how many workshops are being provided each day and how much time is spent in those workshops.

The Daily or Monthly Stats tool only collects “non IV-D” workshop services.


We are not sure how to capture “Order and Judgment” preparation services.  The initial contact at our counter is captured already, but the preparation of the order on a later date is the part that does not seem to fit in any of the current categories.

How should we be indicating this particular service on question 7?

The best way to handle this is to just use the entry for the date that the contact was made with the customer and not to do this as a double-count since it is one service.


If there is more than one PoC, does that mean the information or data is available to only one person?

Will the PoC receive data for all program locations within the county?

Primary contact (PoC staff) will have access to Weekly, Monthly, Bi-annual and Annual data reports, including raw (.CSV, SPSS, .XLS) data.

The primary contact for each county will have access to all county program data, including data from satellite office locations, if applicable.

Our court program participates in workshops with DCSS. Often, we don’t have demographic data on the litigants.  Can we add IV-D child support to the list of workshop topics?

TBD. Response pending.

Can we remove the old FLFED from our court servers/system?


On the day of STARS implementation, please submit your FLFED data to Youn Kim.

We recommend that all court programs maintain the FLFED data collection tool in the court servers. Once all court programs complete STARS implementation, we will be sending out next-step instructions on what to do with the FLFED and the data it holds.

Is IV-D triage the same as outreach (i.e., less than 5-minute interactions on non-IV-D issues to give info re: the process, distribute forms, make referrals, etc.)?

For data collection purpose, the selection of the IV-D triage option, indicates that services of less than 5-minute were provided including information and referrals on non-IV-D issues. This service can include info re: the process, distribute forms, make referrals, etc.). Please document, using the STARS tool, this customer interaction as a IV-D triage. IV-D outreach is an umbrella term that includes triage.

Does the survey need to be completed in one sitting or can we come back to it later?

To ensure data integrity, we recommend that all data collected be entered on the same day shortly after the service has been rendered. If this process does not allow for the entering of the data real-time, the information can be entered later in the day or early on the next day.  All data collected during the week must be entered by the end of the week on Friday.