The lack of available and appropriate emergency placements for youth facing quick removals or disruptions is a complex problem facing the child welfare system. View resources on this page to learn what States are doing across the country to build their capacity to provide safe, appropriate, and therapeutic placement options and wraparound supports for the most at-need children and youth on an emergency basis. Resources also include information on how to support families and foster parents to prevent the need for emergency placements in the first place. State and local examples demonstrating how some States are working to tackle the challenge of identifying reliable emergency placements are also provided.
5 Tips for Emergency Foster Care Parents
The Family Initiative, Inc. (2020)
Offers tips that families providing emergency foster care should consider to be effective short-term placements.
Around the Country, States Face Shortage of Placements for Youth With Greater Needs
Child Welfare Monitor (2020)
Discusses the struggles that certain States are experiencing with regard to the lack of quality short-term placements for youth in out-of-home care and its larger impact on youth with the greatest needs.
Emergency Foster Care Placements as a Single Foster Mom [Video]
Be The Village (2021)
Features a video from the perspective of a single foster mom on her experiences and challenges with providing emergency placement for youth and young adults in foster care.
How Can We Ensure a Childs First Placement is With Family?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Discusses the importance of prioritizing placing children with family as their first placement to maintain family connections and cultural identity.
How Can We Improve Placement Stability for Children in Foster Care?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Offers strategies for child welfare agencies to improve the stability of placements for children, youth, and young adults when placed in out-of-home care.
When Kids Need a Place to Sleep for the Night, Emergency Foster Homes Offer a Safe Landing
Fostering Great Ideas (2020)
Describes what emergency foster care is, what families can expect when seeking to become an emergency foster care placement, and key differences between being a traditional foster care placement and providing emergency care.
State and local examples
Children Without Placement (PDF - 694 KB)
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (2021)
Discusses the challenges that Texas is experiencing as a result of their Child Without Placement provisions and how they have been challenged to coordinate agency collaboration to improve placement stability for youth in foster care.
Foster Youth and Hotel Stays
Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families (2020)
Highlights the issue of youth staying in hotel placements in the State of Oregon and provides recommendations for large-scale child welfare system changes to reduce the use of hotels for out-of-home placements.
Governor Youngkin Announces Safe and Sound Task Force to End Practice of Kids Sleeping in Local Government Offices
Governor of Virginia (2022)
Presents a press release announcing the Governor of Virginia’s new Safe and Sound task force, a new initiative aimed at creating safe housing placements for children in foster care.
Recommendation Follow-Up Report: DHS Has Made Important Improvements, but Extensive Work Remains to Ensure Child Safety (PDF - 927 KB)
Secretary of State Audits Division (2019)
State of Oregon Department of Human Services
Details audit findings of Oregon’s Department of Human Services' efforts to improve child safety in foster care by increasing staffing and addressing a shortfall of foster homes and residential beds.