Doc­tor seeks to stop child abuse be­fore it can hap­pen

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

FORT WORTH | A Texas doc­tor is hop­ing to stop child abuse and ne­glect be­fore it can hap­pen by adapt­ing a pre­dic­tive mod­el­ing sys­tem that’s been suc­cess­ful in re­duc­ing vi­o­lent crime.

Pe­di­atric anes­the­si­ol­o­gist Dyann Da­ley started a non­profit this sum­mer to help com­mu­ni­ties cre­ate maps that can zero in on ar­eas as small as a few blocks where such mal­treat­ment is like­li­est to hap­pen.

The hope is that it will help head off in­stances of abuse and that it can help ad­vo­cacy groups bet­ter fo­cus their lim­ited re­sources on where they’ll be most ef­fec­tive.

Un­like the com­mon hot spot map­ping ap­proach, which iden­ti­fies high-fre­quency ar­eas of child abuse based on past cases, Dr. Da­ley’s risk ter­rain mod­el­ing ap­proach iden­ti­fies other risk fac­tors that in­di­cate an area is fer­tile ground for abuse.

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