The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) in the state of NSW is testing the potential of an artificial intelligence model for predicting risks to children and young people with special needs in out-of-home care.
The DCJ has announced its collaboration with Monash University for this project. The research is still in its preliminary phase, where pilot tools are being developed for predicting potential risks to children and their families.
Children in out-of-home care, away from their homes, face the risk of abuse or neglect from their caregivers. Moreover, long-term care arrangements may fail prematurely, leading to a higher likelihood of developmental delays in children and other mental health issues.
The “Smart Practice Tools” project will remain in the draft phase for another 12 months. The objective is to develop decision-support tools that will help child protection professionals identify critical risk factors for the safety and well-being of children in state care. This will allow for more timely interventions.
The recent research results show that the model has achieved approximately 87% effectiveness, offering the ability to provide precise information about the risk faced by each child. This is a significant tool for designing and delivering services to improve the protection and care of children under state supervision.