From the Founder
A toddler who bled to death from physical abuse one night in the operating room changed the course of my life. During an hour of desperate struggle to save him, I imagined how he must have looked to his abuser for comfort and safety, and my heart broke for him. In that moment, I promised him that I would do anything in my power to shield other little children from the same fate.
In the United States, between 1,500 and 3,000 infants and children die due to abuse and neglect each year. Children age 0-3 years are at greatest risk for maltreatment and related fatality, and for them, fatalities are on the rise. The children who survive abuse, neglect, and adversity in early childhood often suffer a lifetime of physical, mental, educational, and social health problems. Long-term outcomes include shorter life expectancy, chronic disease and disability, obesity, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, risk of intimate partner and sexual violence, depression and anxiety, suicidality, sexually transmitted infections, unintended and teenage pregnancies, low birth weight and fetal death, psychological disorders, and risk of aggressive and/or criminal behavior (1).
Dyann Daley, MD
Founder and CEO
According to the 2016 final report of the Presidential Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (2), strategy for prevention of child maltreatment, related fatality, and the host of expensive sequelae is at a crossroads. Right now, we aren’t able to reliably prevent child abuse and neglect, related fatality, recurrence of abuse and neglect, or keep a child safe while in foster or kinship care. We don’t know if expensive social resources are being allocated to the people who need them most, or if the services provided are effective in improving objective measures of child health and safety.
The Predict Align Prevent framework is designed to find practical solutions for these fundamental problems, and ultimately discover how to reliably prevent the suffering and death of little children due to abuse and neglect. Some elements of our approach which are unique include:
• Place-based predictive analytics don’t target specific individuals, and can even be part of a strategy to protect Fourth Amendment rights (3).
• Maps are instantly and easily understood by community, professional, and legislative groups, and open up cross-sector dialogue and collaboration in a unique way.
• Tracking objective, measurable, verifiable outcomes at a population level adds a layer of accountability and cohesiveness to prevention initiatives which are related by common risk factors and common geography.
• In every community there are people who want to help. This framework provides a roadmap to guide any kind of volunteer to make an impact.
Through collaboration and a commitment to transparency and open science, we will solve this problem together.
(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Resource Page
(2) Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. (2016). Within our reach: A national strategy to eliminate child abuse and neglect fatalities. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
(3) Kelly K. Koss, Leveraging Predictive Policing Algorithms to Restore Fourth Amendment Protections in High-Crime Areas in a Post-Wardlow World, 90 Chi.-Kent. L. Rev. 301 (2015).