Lack of social workers, foster homes leaves kids in lurch

Idaho Statehouse
Posted at 2:54 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 16:54:23-05

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho residents told a panel of lawmakers Friday that the state's child protection services are struggling, with some kids being left in unsafe homes despite dozens of complaints.

Other kids are being temporarily housed in hotels or short-term vacation rentals while state workers try to find suitable foster homes. The Child Protection Legislative Oversight Committee heard from members of Citizen Review Panels around the state in preparation for the upcoming legislative session.

The review panels reported that social workers are overloaded with cases and kids are falling through the cracks. Cameron Gilliland with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare acknowledged staffing challenges but said kids are being helped.