California Child Welfare Predictive Risk Model Proof of Concept

Modelled closely on the Allegheny Family Screening Tool, in 2016 Vaithianathan and Putnam-Hornstein also began PRM work in California. Given that the state does not have an integrated data system, the goal of this project was to assess whether a PRM built exclusively from child protection records could approach the accuracy of the AFST. This proof-of-concept also included comparisons between scores generated through a PRM and risk levels assigned through the use of the SDM® Family Risk Assessment tool (i.e., “SDM® risk tool”) which has been in use in California since 1998. Findings indicated that the PRM was more accurate than the SDM® risk tool in identifying children who would have chronic or intensive involvement with the child protection system. The state is currently developing implementation plans with county stakeholders.


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Location: California, United States

Partner/s: Led by Children’s Data Network together with California Child Welfare Indicators Project, California Department of Social Services, California Department of Public Health, County Child Welfare departments in Los Angeles, Monterey and San Francisco, CSDA

Timeframe: 2016-June 2018