In August 2016, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) implemented the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST), a predictive risk model designed to improve call screening decision-making in the county’s child welfare system. The AFST is the result of a two-year process of exploration, research, ethical analysis and training.
The AFST calculates a score by integrating and analyzing hundreds of data elements; the score predicts the long-term likelihood of re-referral, if the referral is screened out without an investigation, or home removal, if the referral is screened in for investigation. The Family Screening Score provides additional information – in conjunction with clinical judgement – to assist child welfare workers make a call screening decision.
This publication consists of four documents: 1) Developing Predictive Risk Models to Support Child Maltreatment Hotline Screening Decisions: Allegheny County Methodology and Implementation; 2) Ethical Analysis: Predictive Risk Models at Call Screening for Allegheny County; 3) DHS’s response to the Ethical Analysis; and 4) Allegheny Family Screening Tool: Frequently Asked Questions. Together, they provide a look at the development and implementation of the AFST.