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Origins, concerns of LA County child welfare algorithm system




Social worker Alfred McCloud knocks on the front door of a home in south L.A. to check on a toddler. McCloud works the night shift with the Department of Child and Family Services' Emergency Response Team.
Social worker Alfred McCloud knocks on the front door of a home in south L.A. to check on a toddler. McCloud works the night shift with the Department of Child and Family Services' Emergency Response Team.
Grant Slater/KPCC

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Many hope 2015 is a year of reform for Los Angeles County’s troubled child welfare system.

Problems came to a head in 2013 after the death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez in Palmdale. Last year, a Blue Ribbon Commission examined how the county protects its foster children, and responds to abuse claims. It declared the system in a "state of emergency," and recommended dozens of reforms.

One of those was for the county to share data between departments, and use technology to better assess risk.

Southern California Public Radio's Andrea Gardner has more about the program. 

Read Andrea Gardner's full story: Can an algorithm predict child abuse? LA county child welfare officials are trying to find out