DCFS Ends Predictive Program

Dec 6, 2017


  The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services will no longer use a program aimed at identifying children at risk. The $366,000 data mining program looks for children at risk for serious injury or death. The termination of the program comes after the DCFS director called the technology unreliable.

Director Beverly Walker says the agency is suspending use of the Rapid Safety Feedback program because it "didn't seem to be predicting much." The department is now seeking to change the way it indexes and links investigations.

The nonprofit Eckerd Connects created the analytics program. The nonprofit says it regrets using language that suggested the company could predict the probability of child harm. It says its scoring system is merely meant to represent how closely a child matches historical data on fatality and harm cases.