City Journal

Improving Child Welfare

New York City should use advancements in data technology to get its foster and adoption programs up to date, writes
Naomi Schaefer Riley. She cites an interview with the late Richard Gelles, former dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania: “Even the state-of-the-art assessment tools being used in New York are no better at predicting risk for a child than if you flipped a coin.” Gelles said that relying on social workers’ “clinical judgment” and “expertise” to determine which children should be removed from their homes is “simply inadequate.”