Allegheny County

Youth Services Insider
A Second Chance president Dr. Sharon McDaniel. The organization argues Ma'Khia Bryant's death is indicative of a failed social services system.


Sharon McDaniel, Pioneer on Prioritizing Kin in Foster Care, Honored By Social Work Field

Dr. Sharon McDaniel’s own experience growing up in kinship care, led her to create Pennsylvania-based A Second Chance, Inc. (ASCI) in 1994. This month, McDaniel was honored for her work by the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP).


More Than a Year After 11-Year-Old’s Death, L.A. Bets Training Will Improve Contested Risk Analysis Tool

The 2016 death of 11-year-old Yonatan Aguilar reignited a years-long debate about the strengths and weaknesses of a tool used by social workers across Los Angeles County to determine the risk a child will be abused.


The Fight for Racial Equity in Child Welfare Continues

“All we really needed was some therapy. Foster care just made things worse.” These words from “Michelle,” an African-American woman discussing her experiences in foster care at a recent panel discussion, are a reminder of how our child welfare systems struggle to meet the needs of children and families.


Managing the Flow: Predictive Analytics in Child Welfare

At the intersection of two major Los Angeles freeways sits the county’s child abuse nerve center. Scores of workers are scattered at partitioned desks on the incredibly large fifth floor of this tall, drab building.


California Bets on Big Data to Predict Child Abuse

California, home to the largest foster care population in the country, has publicly declared its intention to pursue the use of so-called “predictive analytics” to foresee and presumably prevent child abuse.


Pennsylvania County Leads in Use of Big Data to Stem Child Abuse, Probes Ethics First

Computer algorithms guide our decisions in big ways and small. They nudge us to buy a particular blender on Amazon and tailor ads to our interests on our Facebook pages, but also seek to reduce repeat domestic violence arrests and assess risk during criminal sentence proceedings.

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    Kin and Faith: The Right Ways to Grow a Foster Home Supply

    May is Foster Care Month, and it is a great time to sing the praises of the many wonderful foster parents who are changing children’s lives every day. As a social worker in Washington, D.C.’s


    Pennsylvania County Fills Foster Family Gap with Relatives

    As jurisdictions across the country scramble to find enough foster homes, one Pennsylvania county has found success by relying on relative caregivers. In Allegheny County, home to the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, a unique partnership with a private agency has led to a special emphasis on placing children with family or close family friends, yielding benefits across the child protective services system.


    PBS’ NewsHour Covers Foster Care, Big Data in Pennsylvania

    Last night, PBS’ NewsHour aired a segment investigating strategies in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County to better identify children at highest risk of abuse and neglect and to improve outcomes for children and youth in foster care.