AFTS, An algorithm for risk of children neglect or abuse

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AFTS, An algorithm for risk of children neglect or abuse

Department of Human Services (DHS) Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Photo: DHS Allegheny County

A Big Data System that provides social services professionals with an objective assessment of the situations of risk of child helplessness and helps them in the detection of cases and in the decision process of activation of the protocols for social intervention.

The Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST) is a tool based on specially designed algorithms that analyzes a large number of data from different sources of information. When social services receive information about a possible situation of helplessness or mistreatment, the algorithm calculates the risk index of the case by analyzing more than a hundred parameters such as criminal history, drug use, mental illness or History of child abuse of parents, guardians or people who live in the child’s home

The algorithm provides great accuracy in case detection and as a recent article in the New York Times concluded, “the Allegheny experience suggests that its screening tool is less bad at weighing biases than human screeners have been”.

Allegheny County

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