Child welfare predictive analytics systems

Todd Feathers filed this request with the Department of Social and Health services of Washington.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Todd Feathers

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Washington Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

1) Contracts with any company, nonprofit, or other entity that currently provides software to the department that includes predictive analytics models for child welfare (i.e., models designed to identify home placement risk, abuse risk, human trafficking risk, etc.). This should include contracts for CCWIS or comparable systems that include predictive models as well as project descriptions for any models created in-house.

2) Data dictionaries for all child welfare predictive models used by the department, including those provided by outside entities as well as in-house models. Data dictionaries are documents commonly created for predictive models and databases. They describe the categories of data that are inputs (age, gender, etc.) and outputs (risk level, etc.) of predictive models. They are equivalent to headers on a spreadsheet, and do not include actual data.

3) A list of all memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and/or data sharing agreements with state or local agencies for the provision of data that is incorporated into the department's child welfare predictive models. Should the department not maintain a list of these MOUs, I will accept copies of the MOUs themselves.

4) Any differential impact assessments, validation studies, or comparable documents that describe the accuracy of child welfare predictive models used by the department. This should include any documents that describe common measures of predictive accuracy, such as area under the curve (AUC).

5) All department policies, employee manuals, and guidelines describing how employees can and/or should use child welfare predictive models.

6) All governance board, committee, or outside expert reviews assessing the efficacy of the department's proposed or current child welfare predictive models.

Should you have questions regarding any aspect of this request, please don't hesitate to contact me.

I ask that all fees be waived as I am a journalist and intend to use the requested records to publish articles in the public interest. In the event you choose to impose fees, I request a detailed breakdown of the fees, including the hourly wage of each employ involved and an explanation justifying the employee hours required to fulfill the request.

Should you choose to reject this request or redact portions of it, I ask that you provide a detailed breakdown of the statutory exemptions and associated case law underlying your decision to withhold each/any portions from public review.

I would prefer the request be filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you very much for your help, and I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Todd Feathers

From: Department of Social and Health services

Please see the attached correspondence regarding your request. If you have any questions please contact our office. Thank you.

Natasha House / Public Records Officer
Information Governance / Office of the Secretary
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
DSHSPublicDisclosure@dshs.wa.gov<mailto:DSHSPublicDisclosure@dshs.wa.gov>
Transforming Lives

From: Department of Social and Health services

Good morning,

This email responds further to your public records request. We are seeking clarification of the term "child welfare". Can you please clarify whether you intend for this term to include child support services? Your request appears to seek other types of child service records, but we want to make sure we are accurately responding.

We would appreciate receiving your response by June 7, 2021. If we do not receive a response from you by this date we will understand "child welfare" does not include child support services.

Natasha House / Public Records Officer
Information Governance / Office of the Secretary
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
DSHSPublicDisclosure@dshs.wa.gov<mailto:DSHSPublicDisclosure@dshs.wa.gov>
Transforming Lives

From: Todd Feathers

Hi Natasha,

I'm seeking records that pertain to programs such as foster home placement, abuse hotline screening/prioritization, reunification risk assessment, etc. I know the terms vary a lot by state, so I'd be happy to jump on a call sometime this week if it's easier to talk it over that way? But essentially, I'm asking for records pertaining to any predictive analytics system that assigns risk scores or is used to prioritize services/responses to department-involved children or their families.

Best,
Todd
608-698-5806

From: Department of Social and Health services

Good afternoon,

This email responds further to your public records request. You requested the following:

1) Contracts with any company, nonprofit, or other entity that currently provides software to the department that includes predictive analytics models for child welfare (i.e., models designed to identify home placement risk, abuse risk, human trafficking risk, etc.). This should include contracts for CCWIS or comparable systems that include predictive models as well as project descriptions for any models created in-house.

2) Data dictionaries for all child welfare predictive models used by the department, including those provided by outside entities as well as in-house models. Data dictionaries are documents commonly created for predictive models and databases. They describe the categories of data that are inputs (age, gender, etc.) and outputs (risk level, etc.) of predictive models. They are equivalent to headers on a spreadsheet, and do not include actual data.

3) A list of all memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and/or data sharing agreements with state or local agencies for the provision of data that is incorporated into the department's child welfare predictive models. Should the department not maintain a list of these MOUs, I will accept copies of the MOUs themselves.

4) Any differential impact assessments, validation studies, or comparable documents that describe the accuracy of child welfare predictive models used by the department. This should include any documents that describe common measures of predictive accuracy, such as area under the curve (AUC).

5) All department policies, employee manuals, and guidelines describing how employees can and/or should use child welfare predictive models.

6) All governance board, committee, or outside expert reviews assessing the efficacy of the department's proposed or current child welfare predictive models.

We initially anticipated providing a first installment of records to you on June 22, 2021. However, due to current workloads, our search for responsive records is taking longer than expected. We must extend our response date to July 9, 2021. If we are able to complete our search and identify responsive records prior to this date we will contact you.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Thank you.

Natasha House / Public Records Officer / Information Governance
Office of the Secretary
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
DSHSPublicDisclosure@dshs.wa.gov<mailto:DSHSPublicDisclosure@dshs.wa.gov>
Transforming Lives

From: Department of Social and Health services

Please see the attached correspondence regarding your request. If you have any questions please contact our office. Thank you.

Natasha House / Public Records Officer
Information Governance / Office of the Secretary
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
DSHSPublicDisclosure@dshs.wa.gov<mailto:DSHSPublicDisclosure@dshs.wa.gov>
Transforming Lives

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