Written by 8:55 pm AI, Discussions, Uncategorized

### Leveraging AI Tools to Boost Adoption Rates: An Investigative Insight

Thea Ramirez created an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help social service agencies find the …

Past social worker Thea Ramirez is currently engaged in the field, overseeing a non-profit organization named Adoption-Reveal. Collaborating with a computer scientist, Ramirez has developed Family-Match, an artificial intelligence tool designed to aid social services agencies in identifying optimal adoptive families for children in need of temporary foster care.

Partnering with machine learning expert Gian Gonzaga, previously responsible for the technology behind the popular online dating platform eHarmony, Ramirez embarked on the creation of Family-Match. Gonzaga expressed his enthusiasm for this project, stating in a YouTube video, “I was more excited about this endeavor than anything I’ve encountered in my entire career.”

Despite initial optimism, an investigation by the Associated Press revealed that Family-Match had limited effectiveness in the states where it was implemented, raising doubts about AI’s ability to address complex individual challenges. Social workers in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, as cited by AP, found Family-Match to be unhelpful, often encountering willing but unsuitable candidates.

Following a trial period, Virginia and Georgia discontinued the use of Family-Match, citing minimal outcomes of one or two adoptions annually. Technical issues prevented Tennessee from adopting the tool. In contrast, Florida organizations reported more positive results, crediting Family-Match for facilitating connections with potential adoptive parents for children in need of permanent homes.

Ramirez declined to respond to AP’s inquiries directly but conveyed via email that Family-Match remains a valuable and beneficial tool for those actively engaged in adoption recruitment and matching efforts. Gonzaga redirected all queries to Ramirez for further information.

The accompanying image illustrates a segment of the April 2023 user manual for Adoption-Share’s Family-Match program in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. Despite modest benefits observed in these states, the Adoption-Broker’s tool, according to AP’s investigation, has not yielded significant results.

Residing in Georgia, the headquarters of her philanthropic venture Adoption-Share, Ramirez initiated a platform connecting prospective adoptive parents with birth parents seeking adoption opportunities. Targeting anti-abortion organizations for marketing, Ramirez aimed to support women considering alternatives to abortion by facilitating adoption processes.

Following the discontinuation of Family-Match in Georgia, Ramirez engaged with the state governor’s office and advocated for a $250,000 budget allocation to support an expanded program. Subsequently, Georgia reinstated the use of Family-Match through a new contract, facilitated by Adoption-Share, enabling comprehensive adoption services in the state.

Initially offered at no cost in Florida, Family-Match was funded by a generous donation from the founder of Patrón tequila. However, the complimentary service concluded in October 2022, with the state government assuming financial responsibility. Adoption-Share secured a $350,000 commitment from the state to sustain the program.

In May, Family-Match received funding support from an event endorsed by professional baseball player Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals. Additionally, Adoption-Promote secured a partnership with the Florida Department of Health to develop an application tailored to children with severe health conditions and disabilities.

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Last modified: February 26, 2024
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