An Algorithm That Screens for Child Neglect Raises Concerns

Garance Burke - The Associated Press

Inside a cavernous stone fortress in downtown Pittsburgh, attorney Robin Frank defends parents at one of their lowest points—when they risk losing their children. The job is never easy, but in the past she knew what she was up against when squaring off against child protective services in family court. Now, she worries she’s fighting something she can’t see: an opaque algorithm whose statistical calculations help social workers decide which families should be investigated in the first place.