Oregon Safety at Screening Tool

Safety at Screening was a predictive risk tool developed (pdf) and used by hotline workers at Oregon's Department of Human Services (DHS) from late 2018 to help decide which families flagged for instances of child abuse and neglect should be investigated by social workers.

Operator: Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS)
Developer: Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS)

Country: USA

Sector: Govt - welfare 

Purpose: Predict child neglect/abuse

Technology: Prediction algorithm
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - race, ethnicity

Transparency: Black box

Risks and harms 🛑

Safety at Screening was criticised for inaccurately misidentifying individuals at risk, unfairness and discrimination, and poor transparency, resulting in the possibility of stigmatisation and inappropriate interventions, and undermining trust in the state's criminal justice system. 

Research, advocacy 🧮

Investigations, assessments, audits 🧐

Page info
Type: System
Published: December 2022
Last updated: September 2023