Heterogeneity in Algorithm-Assisted Decision-Making: A Case Study in Child Abuse Hotline Screening

by   Lingwei Cheng, et al.

Algorithmic risk assessment tools are now commonplace in public sector domains such as criminal justice and human services. These tools are intended to aid decision makers in systematically using rich and complex data captured in administrative systems. In this study we investigate sources of heterogeneity in the alignment between worker decisions and algorithmic risk scores in the context of a real world child abuse hotline screening use case. Specifically, we focus on heterogeneity related to worker experience. We find that senior workers are far more likely to screen in referrals for investigation, even after we control for the observed algorithmic risk score and other case characteristics. We also observe that the decisions of less-experienced workers are more closely aligned with algorithmic risk scores than those of senior workers who had decision-making experience prior to the tool being introduced. While screening decisions vary across child race, we do not find evidence of racial differences in the relationship between worker experience and screening decisions. Our findings indicate that it is important for agencies and system designers to consider ways of preserving institutional knowledge when introducing algorithms into high employee turnover settings such as child welfare call screening.


page 8

page 11


Improving Human-AI Partnerships in Child Welfare: Understanding Worker Practices, Challenges, and Desires for Algorithmic Decision Support

AI-based decision support tools (ADS) are increasingly used to augment h...

Extended Analysis of "How Child Welfare Workers Reduce Racial Disparities in Algorithmic Decisions"

This is an extended analysis of our paper "How Child Welfare Workers Red...

A Case for Humans-in-the-Loop: Decisions in the Presence of Erroneous Algorithmic Scores

The increased use of algorithmic predictions in sensitive domains has be...

On the Validity of Arrest as a Proxy for Offense: Race and the Likelihood of Arrest for Violent Crimes

The risk of re-offense is considered in decision-making at many stages o...

Reevaluating the Role of Race and Ethnicity in Diabetes Screening

There is active debate over whether to consider patient race and ethnici...

Qualitätsmaße binärer Klassifikationen im Bereich kriminalprognostischer Instrumente der vierten Generation

This master's thesis discusses an important issue regarding how algorith...

Feedback Effects in Repeat-Use Criminal Risk Assessments

In the criminal legal context, risk assessment algorithms are touted as ...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset