University of Pennsylvania

Youth Services Insider


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.


One Million Adoptions Later: Adoption and Safe Families Act at 20

Throughout the 1990s, the number of children in foster care surged, reaching a peak of 567,000 children in 1999. The rise occurred in the wake of the crack and cocaine epidemic, which forced tough choices on child welfare systems that were often ill-equipped to help keep families together.


Philadelphia App Links Youth to Resources and Services

For youth exiting the foster care system, finding a way to access supports and services can be hard. There are many organizations and agencies that offer service to transition-age youth, but knowing where to look for resources like crisis mental health services, computer access, mentoring opportunities and food banks can be a struggle.

Photo Law Professors Blog Network


Alone in a California Courtroom: A Call for Legal Representation in Immigration Court

According to an ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations report, in 2015 over 200,000 Mexican and Central American immigrants were deported from the United States by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.


Philadelphia Uses Flexible Cash to Test Storied Child Abuse Prevention Program

In March of this year, the national Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities released its 150-page final report. The President and party leaders from both the House and Senate appointed this 12-member group in 2012 and tasked them with bringing forth recommendations for eliminating abuse- and neglect-related child deaths in America.


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.


    Heaven and a ‘Ghost Vote’ on Gun Violence

    Heaven was going to Disney World.                                                                Summer was in full bloom, and the family’s Disney World trip planned for early July was growing nearer. The eager and joyful 7-year-old had her hair styled for the upcoming trip.


    Why the Pennsylvania Budget Crisis was Terrible for Vulnerable Children

    There’s no doubt that the drawn-out budget spat between House Republicans and Gov. Wolf has harmed kids. The state withheld $1.7 billion allocated for children, youth, and family services from July to December.


    Resisting Medicaid Expansion Limits Access to Mental Health Care

    States’ refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility is barring an estimated 2.6 million low-income Americans from affordable, necessary mental healthcare, according to a 2015 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).