TexProtects Launches First Statewide ZipRisk Map to Help Direct Resources in Fight to Prevent and End Child Abuse

TexProtects Launches First Statewide ZipRisk Map to Help Direct Resources in Fight to Prevent and End Child Abuse

Partnership with UT Dallas, Alliance Data and Epsilon Provided Expertise and Resources to Produce First-of-its-Kind Interactive Data Technology

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New tool helps lawmakers see highest-risk areas to prevent #childabuse @texprotects @alliancedata http://bit.ly/1WSCqTL
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 10:00am

CAMPAIGN: Data for Good

CONTENT: Press Release

Dallas, April 27, 2016 /3BL Media/— TexProtects, the Texas Association for the Protection of Children – in partnership with Plano-based Alliance Data and its Epsilon business and the University of Texas at Dallas School of Engineering and Computer Sciences UT Design program – today unveiled the ZipRisk Map, a groundbreaking, interactive data tool that will help advocates and policy-makers across Texas identify the highest-risk areas in the fight to prevent and end child abuse. The new tool – accessible at http://www.TexProtects.org/map – is the first to provide a ZIP code-level view of these high-need areas, enabling state and local organizations to more effectively target their resources and outreach.

(For a video explanation of the ZipRisk project, go to https://youtu.be/Dw018uL7J3k)

“Every day in our state, an average of 183 children are substantiated for child maltreatment. We must do more to protect Texas children from abuse and severe neglect and the best way is to invest in effective prevention programs. The ZipRisk map will guide Texas leaders and private funders to target resources to the highest-need areas of the state with the fewest resources to save children from tragic consequences,” said TexProtects Founding CEO Madeline McClure.

The development of the ZipRisk Map was a collaboration among TexProtects, the University of Texas at Dallas School of Engineering and Computer Sciences UT Design program, and Alliance Data and its Epsilon business. Students at UT Dallas worked with data technology specialists at Epsilon to create the data model that would present the detailed geographic view on behalf of TexProtects. Before the project was completed, this type of data existed only at the county level. With this new geomapping tool now in the public domain, researchers, advocates, legislators, state agencies and other non-profit providers can efficiently identify those areas most at risk and commit resources to support families in those areas.

“Texas benefits when academic institutions, corporations and non-profits team up to find solutions to our state’s challenges. I commend TexProtects, UTD and Alliance Data for working on this mapping tool, which has the potential to help us better identify and protect children at risk,” said Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound.

“We are excited to see this innovative ZipRisk mapping tool come online,” said Lisa K. Simmons, President of the Harold Simmons Foundation. “Such a resource should be extremely helpful in guiding our foundation grants to target the highest risk areas of North Texas that have the fewest resources for child abuse and neglect prevention.”

“The ZipRisk mapping technology is a much-needed tool, which can help United Way of Metropolitan Dallas target resources to serve the most need across North Texas. We look forward to using the tool to guide and inform the development and implementation of our new HOPES child abuse prevention initiative,” said Susan Hoff, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Chief Strategy, Impact & Operations Officer.

“Alliance Data’s commitment to social responsibility includes a focus on collecting, analyzing and using data to drive decision-making that helps non-profits create a positive impact in the community,” said Dana Beckman, Corporate Affairs Director with Alliance Data. “Collaborating with UT Dallas students presented an ideal opportunity to develop technology that leverages data for good, and demonstrates how evidence-based programs can support measurable outcomes for those in need.”

The ZipRisk Map is based on modeled data from a set of predictive data indices, including rates of past confirmed child maltreatment and child abuse fatalities, child poverty, teen pregnancy and substance abuse, all highly correlated with child abuse. 

“This type of project is what we’ve desired for years at TexProtects – the public sector, the private sector, and the nonprofit advocacy worlds pooling our resources and passions to change the trajectory for many vulnerable families and their children,” said McClure. “This tool will ensure funds are directed more precisely to match need versus a scatter-shot approach. A more cost-effective investment strategy redirects funds from areas not in need, which is a surer way of saving more lives and improving life outcomes. We are so grateful to Alliance Data, Epsilon and UT Dallas for bringing this vision to fruition.”

TexProtects, The Texas Association for the Protection of Children, was created to tackle issues of Child Protective Services (CPS) reform, prevention and public awareness to bring a collective, organized voice representing the needs of children at risk of abuse and survivors of child abuse and neglect. The organization is autonomous, nonpartisan and nonpolitical, designed to educate decision makers, private funders and the public at large. To date, no one single Texas organization has dedicated its focus on the main issues of protection, prevention, and healing of abused and neglected children. 

For more information, please visit www.TexProtects.org.