PITTSBURGH (AP) — For the two weeks that the Hackneys’ baby girl lay in a Pittsburgh hospital bed weak from dehydration, her parents rarely left her side, sometimes sleeping on the fold-out sofa in the room.
They stayed with their daughter around the clock when she was moved to a rehab center to regain her strength. Finally, the 8-month-old stopped batting away her bottles and started putting on weight again.
“She was doing well and we started to ask when can she go home,” Lauren Hackney said. “And then from that moment on, at the time, they completely stonewalled us.”
More than a year later, their daughter, now 2, remains in foster care and the Hackneys, who have developmental disabilities, struggle to understand how taking their daughter to the hospital when she refused to eat could be seen as so neglectful that she’d need to be taken from her home.
They wonder if an artificial intelligence tool that the Allegheny County Department of Human Services uses to predict which children could be at risk of harm singled them out because of their disabilities.