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In an age of austerity, and a climate of fear about child abuse, perhaps it is unsurprising that social workers have turned to new technology for help.
Local authorities – which face spiralling demand and an £800m funding shortfall – are beginning to ask whether big data could help to identify vulnerable children.
Could a computer program flag a problem family, identify a potential victim and prevent another Baby P or Victoria Climbié?
Years ago, such questions would have been the stuff of science fiction; now they are the stuff of science fact.
Bristol is one place experimenting with these new capabilities, and grappling with the moral and ethical questions that come with them.