The Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange Improves Its Matching Process
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Slaugh, Vincent W.; Akan, Mustafa; Kesten, Onur; Ünver, M. Utku
The Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange (PAE) helps case workers who represent children in state custody by recommending prospective families for adoption. We describe PAE's operational challenges using case worker surveys and analyze child outcomes through a regression analysis of data collected over multiple years. A match recommendation spreadsheet tool implemented by PAE incorporates insights from this analysis and allows PAE managers to better utilize available information. Using a discrete-event simulation of PAE, we justify the value of a statewide adoption network and demonstrate the importance of better information about family preferences for increasing the percentage of children who are successfully adopted. Finally, we detail a series of simple improvements that PAE achieved through collecting more valuable information and aligning incentives for families to provide useful preference information.
community OR; public service; matching; market design
Required Publisher Statement: © INFORMS. Final version published as: Slaugh, V. W., Akan, M., Kesten, O., & Ünver, M. U. (2016). The Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange improves its matching process. Interfaces, 46(2), 133-152. doi: 10.1287/inte.2015.0828 Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.