Title

A Human-Centered Review of Algorithms used within the U.S. Child Welfare System

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

4-2020

Publisher

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Source Publication

CHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Source ISSN

9781450367080

Abstract

The U.S. Child Welfare System (CWS) is charged with improving outcomes for foster youth; yet, they are overburdened and underfunded. To overcome this limitation, several states have turned towards algorithmic decision-making systems to reduce costs and determine better processes for improving CWS outcomes. Using a human-centered algorithmic design approach, we synthesize 50 peer-reviewed publications on computational systems used in CWS to assess how they were being developed, common characteristics of predictors used, as well as the target outcomes. We found that most of the literature has focused on risk assessment models but does not consider theoretical approaches (e.g., child-foster parent matching) nor the perspectives of caseworkers (e.g., case notes). Therefore, future algorithms should strive to be context-aware and theoretically robust by incorporating salient factors identified by past research. We provide the HCI community with research avenues for developing human-centered algorithms that redirect attention towards more equitable outcomes for CWS.

Comments

Published as a part of the conference proceedings CHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (April 2020) DOI.

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