Oregon Safety at Screening Tool

Released: December 2018
Occurred: June 2022

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.

Oregon stopped using the system in June 2022 after an AP review of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Family Screening Tool found it had flagged a disproportionate number of Black children for 'mandatory' neglect investigations. Allegheny's tool had originally inspired Oregon officials to develop their own system.

Oregon officials said use of its tool was halted to help reduce disparities concerning which families are investigated for child abuse and neglect by child protective services, and that it would be replaced by a new programme - the Structured Decision Making model.

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/disrimination - race, ethnicity

Transparency: Black box

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