Workshop "Decision Support in Social Work with Children and Families at Risk"

Anne Marie Villumsen, Line Berg, Michael Rosholm, Simon Bodilsen, Nikolaj Poulsen (Medlem af forfattergruppering), Liesanth Yde Nirmalarajan

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review



Digitalization - in this case, Predictive Risk Modelling based on Machine-Learning - is coming forward in both social work with children and families at risk and the potential underlying research processes.

The use of technological innovations like Predictive Risk Modelling poses both potential benefits and risk when applied in social work. Some of the potential benefits are prevention of maltreatment and targeted interventions to the children and families in the direst need. In addition, Predictive Risk Modelling may help reduce errors, increase consistency in the way social workers respond to similar risk situations and thereby reduce social worker bias and between-group inequalities. The many potential risks for service users are also well known; such as disproportional impact on people from marginalized groups in relation to e.g. gender, race and socio economic status.

This workshops aims to present and discuss ethical issues and implications concerning the development and evaluation of a Predictive Risk Model based on Machine-Learning in Danish child and family welfare. We will apply relevant ethical considerations to our existing case.

Methods & results

In this research project, we have developed a Predictive Risk Model. It aims to assist child and family welfare services in detecting children at risk. Specifically, it aims to assist in the decision-making process regarding notifications.

Based on a framework by Morley et al. (2020) developed especially towards this field, we present and discuss ethical consideration, reflections and actions, in relations to five main themes: Beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, justice and explicability.


It is our hope that a presentation and discussion of our ethical considerations and challenges regarding the use of Predictive Risk Modelling in Danish child and family welfare can inspire both research and the field of practice when taking a deep dive into this very difficult field within digitalization in social work.

How do we engage the audience?

The onset for the workshop is a simulated set-up where the participants can see and experience how the Predictive Risk Model works in relation to a specific case. The purpose is twofold. First, we want to present the Predictive Risk Model in a vivid and tangible way to make it easier to comprehend and assess the usability of the tool. Second, we want to create a scenario that makes it easier for all participants to discuss this rather complicated matter across nationalities and social work contexts.

We will initiate both group and plenum discussions as well as apply ‘Mentimeter’, an online and interactive voting system. All of which are intended to create an interactive environment.
Publikationsdato18 apr. 2024
StatusUdgivet - 18 apr. 2024
Begivenhed13th European Conference for Social Work Research: ENVISIONING FUTURE: Social Work Research and Discourse in the Age of Industry 4.0 - Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva, Vilnius, Litauen
Varighed: 17 apr. 202419 apr. 2024


Konference13th European Conference for Social Work Research
LokationRadisson Blu Hotel Lietuva


  • Decision Support
  • child and family welfare
  • Predictive risk modelling
  • Machine Learning
  • Ethics