Misuse of Algorithms as Policy in Child Welfare
April 24, 2023 | Grantee Publications | Technology in the Public Interest
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The child welfare agency in Allegheny County used algorithms used in a screening tool that marked parents with disabilities as “risky.” An analysis by the ACLU and Human Rights Data Analysis Group, both grantees, of the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST) found algorithmic design decisions amounted to policy decisions including risk by association, overcollection of data, and no mechanism to amend past data. For example, behavioral health data that often includes disability status is included in the data collection. The report finds these design decisions compounded oppressive structures and harms.

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