Michigan Child
Welfare System


Data Visualization, UI/UX



The University of Michigan School of Social Work was presented with a large set of data from the Michigan Child Welfare System; however, their problem came with transforming the information into a visually understandable format for their target audience—the general public and the system users. The information needed to be translated holistically as well as on an individual case-by-case basis.

The aim was to design analog and digital solutions that categorized the data in order to detect reoccuring patterns within the system. By establishing a visual system, users could effectively measure and monitor children moving through the system.


The Challenge

How do you visually represent measurement definitions for a non-technical audience? The challange was to design graphics that will serve as an aid for understanding measurement strategies and find how measurements relate to each other. Youth who enter the child welfare system can exhibit considerable variability with respect to spells and events. Therefore, there needed to be a flexible measurement system in place for the most extreme scenarios.


The Approach

Along with the printed artifact, a simple visual interface was designed to help understand the data. When a child's case needs to be analyzed, it can instantly be measured through an approachable platform from both a technical and non-technical standpoint. The interface allows a broad overview of each case; however, also allows users of the system to dive deeper.