(AP ) – Child welfare officials in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the cradle of Mister Rogers’ TV neighborhood and the icon’s child-centric innovations, are using an algorithm to support agency workers as they make decisions meant to protect children from neglect.
The Associated Press identified several concerns about the technology, including questions about its reliability and its potential to harden racial disparities in the child welfare system.
Related issues have already torpedoed some jurisdictions’ plans to use predictive models, such as the tool notably dropped by the state of Illinois.
According to the National Institutes of Health Library of Medicine, recent developments in technology may predict which children in a population are most likely to be maltreated. The information comes from data mined from various sources about children and their families. The benefit is that abuse may be prevented before it starts.