State leaders making changes after hundreds of South Ga. foster kids placed in hotels

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Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 11:30 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Last week, WALB News 10 reported that hundreds of kids are staying in hotel rooms and offices instead of foster homes.

Following that report, state officials told WALB about changes they’re making to try to fix the issue.

Those changes include more payment for foster parents and new roles within DFCS.

In the six months before May 12, nearly 100 foster children were placed in hotel rooms because of a shortage of foster homes in DFCS Region 11 alone. That’s an 18-county area in south Georgia.

Some children had been staying in a hotel room for more than 150 days, according to a recent monthly DFCS report. The state has spent millions on temporary housing for foster kids, and case workers are working overtime to supervise them.

What is the new placement coordinator role?

DFCS has put in a new role in place. This role includes the following pay breakdown:

  • A 10% pay increase for foster families
  • Providers that support that placement of kids in motels or offices will get a $5,000 bonus.
  • Agencies that support the placement of foster children in hotels will have an icreased daily allowance of $343.

One of those role changes is a new placement coordinator role. Foster families will get a 10% pay increase. Providers who support the placement of kids in hotels or offices will get $5,000. Agencies that support the placement of foster children in hotels will have an increased daily allowance of $343.

DFCS officials said the average length of hotel stays for these foster kids who are in limbo is about half what it was since December.

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