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Modernizing decision-making : a comparison of algorithmic decision support systems in child protective service agencies in Germany and Australia

Haese, M.E. (2021) Modernizing decision-making : a comparison of algorithmic decision support systems in child protective service agencies in Germany and Australia.

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Abstract:The thesis examines the understudied topic of Algorithmic Decision Support Systems in Child Protective Services (CPS). This is of societal and scientific relevance as algorithmic decision-making tools are expected to facilitate the work in many different high-risk sectors. Therefore, this thesis addresses the following research question: “How are Algorithmic Decision Support Systems used in the sector of Child Protective Services and what are potential advantages and risks?”. For this purpose, a systematic literature review is conducted based on secondary data from Germany and Australia. The posed theoretical framework predicts that CPS, Algorithmic decision-making tools bring structure and consistency to child care decisions, provide high-quality outcomes and relieve pressure from the practitioners. Findings of the analysis indicate that algorithmic decision tools for CPS in Germany and Australia do not live up to expectations and potential. Caseworkers often feel obstructed in their work, and the systems do not support decision-making or consistency. Still, the tools offer advantages such as fast communication with police or healthcare organizations and access to other databases. This thesis concludes that Algorithmic Decision Support Systems for CPS need further development and input from practitioners to identify the areas of child welfare work that an algorithm can best support.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/87686
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