Not magic Opaque AI tool may flag parents with disabilities

News Summary

  • A landmark federal report in 2012 noted parents with psychiatric or intellectual disabilities lost custody of their children as much as 80 percent of the time.Across the U.S., it’s extremely rare for any child welfare agencies to require disabilities training for social workers, LaLiberte’s research has found.
  • They have said they monitor their risk scoring tool closely and update it over time, including removing variables such as welfare benefits and birth records.Vaithianathan and Putnam-Hornstein declined the AP’s repeated interview requests to discuss how they choose the specific data that powers their models.
  • A recent analysis by ACLU researchers found that when Allegheny’s algorithm flagged people who accessed county services for mental health and other behavioral health programs, that could add up to three points to a child’s risk score, a significant increase on a scale of 20.
  • The agency is investigating the county’s child welfare system to determine whether its use of the influential algorithm discriminates against people with disabilities or other protected groups, The Associated Press has learned.
  • The Hackneys believe medical staff alerted child protective services after they showed up with a baby who was dehydrated and malnourished.That’s when they believe their information was fed into the Allegheny Family Screening Tool, which county officials say is standard procedure for neglect allegations.
  • Yet he could not explain how the screening tool his agency uses works.“We’re sort of the social work side of the house, not the IT side of the house,” Nichols said in an interview.
By SALLY HO and GARANCE BURKE Associated PressPITTSBURGH (AP) For the two weeks that the Hackneys baby girl lay in a Pittsburgh hospital bed weak from dehydration, her parents rarely left her sid [+20846 chars]