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Algorithms in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice

February 15, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm MST

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Algorithms and predictive models are increasingly used in the child welfare and juvenile systems, yet most of them are not seen by courts, and attorneys and court personnel may struggle to understand how they work. This webinar will demystify the use of algorithms and help practitioners understand the ways the algorithms themselves can be biased based on race and income and can be misused. Algorithms are powerful tools, but they are not infallible, and courts have an ethical duty to understand  how these tools might impact vulnerable children. Participants will learn why, how, and where these algorithmic models affect outcomes for children and families for both good and ill and their possible future use.

The presenter, Matthew Trail, is conducting a survey for attorneys, law students, and judges in child welfare practice to learn how they would make decisions if given an algorithmic predictive model risk score and asks that attendees take the survey prior to the webinar, so that the results can be discussed.


Matthew Trail, JD
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Matthew Trail worked for fifteen years as an attorney ad litem representing children in foster care, with a focus on representing children with disabilities and mental health issues from trauma. He began his career at a legal aid office in Florida and then moved to Houston where he eventually became managing attorney for Disability Rights Texas’ foster team. In 2020, Matthew joined the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods Behavioral Law section as a research fellow where he researches decision-making in foster care.

This webinar is FREE for NACC Members. Members, please log in with your member ID when you register for this event. This webinar is $45 for non-members. Non-member webinar registrants will receive access to a 90-day trial NACC membership

Accredited for 2 hours of CLE in Colorado (50-minute hour). CLE approval in at least one state can streamline an attorney’s CLE application in another state. Check with your jurisdiction for details on simplified CLE applications and online/on-demand learning requirements.