Why the PRM will not work

This guest blog is by Philip Gillingham. Dr. Gillingham is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland. He is a qualified social worker who has spent 27 years working in and conducting research about child protection services. Recent publications can be viewed at http://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/2576.

Serious ethical concerns have been raised about the development of the Predictive Risk Model (PRM) to identify children at the highest risk of maltreatment as they enter the public welfare benefit system. However, there are also serious practical problems with how it was developed which mean that it is seriously flawed. What follows is a brief and jargon-free explainer as to why it will not work, based on an analysis of the documents released about its development.

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Working with radicalisation risk – A redistribution of Orwellian pre-crime

This guest blog post is by Dr. Tony Stanley. Tony is the Principal Social Worker (PSW) for Tower Hamlets local authority, in London. Holding a small caseload, he has direct experience of working with radicalisation risk cases. He argues that all PSWs should hold cases so they can authentically report on practice issues affecting the frontline. Tony has been appointed Chief Social Worker for Birmingham City Council and starts his new role in October.

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Children at risk and the ethics of predictive risk assessment

The Social Development Ministry is stopping short of implementing a predictive risk assessment tool that can identify children at risk of abuse. MSD commissioned Auckland economist Professor Rhema Vaithianathan to develop the model which uses data about children and their families to identify those at risk of physical, sexual or emotional abuse before the age of two. Professor Vaithianathan says MSD has decided against implementing the tool in the way it was intended, and says it is unethical. Dorothy Adams is Acting Deputy CEO of Organisational Solutions for the Ministry of Social Development.

See also Emily Keddell’s article on The ethics of predictive risk modelling in the Aotearoa/New Zealand child welfare context: Child abuse prevention or neo-liberal tool?