Can Predictive Analytics Root Out the Social Workers Most Likely to Break up Black Families?
The idea of using predictive analytics in child welfare easily conjures images of child abuse investigators targeting parents a machine deems most likely to harm their children. Because black families are so disproportionately likely to be involved with the child protection system, critics credibly argue that predictive risk modeling will only exacerbate existing racial bias.
Using Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence in Child Welfare
This article is part of a series on the Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS), which states can build with federal funding help to replace an antiquated data and management process.
In New York, A Pointed Debate over Predictive Analytics and Child Welfare
Crunching numbers to help predict human behavior is common practice in insurance, banking, and public policy. We are always looking for the perfect algorithm to help improve decision-making. But when those decisions involve the fate of families, and the potential removal of kids from their parents, data-driven predictions become the subject of intense debate.
Congress Weighs Pilot Program for Predictive Analytics Use in Child Welfare
A new bill introduced by Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) last month would establish a pilot program to test the use of predictive analytics in identifying and protecting children who are at risk of maltreatment.
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.
Illinois Drops Rapid Safety Feedback, A Predictive Analytics Tool
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has ended its use of Rapid Safety Feedback (RSF), a predictive analytics tool that was built in Florida to identify the children reported for maltreatment who are most at risk of serious harm or even death.
Study Suggests Florida Could Use Less Foster Care, More “Light Touch” Help for Families
The number of Florida youth in foster care fell from 29,229 in 2006 to 18,040 in 2013. But the number is on a steady incline again, up to 24,059 as of this summer.
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.
Why Understanding Racial Bias is Crucial for the Responsible Use of Predictive Analytics
As big data tools like predictive analytics become more prevalent, child-welfare agencies must grapple with implicit racial bias if they want to ensure that it does not cause harm, according to a new white paper published last month by the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University.