Kids Housed in Casino Hotels? It’s a Workaround as U.S. Sees Decline in Foster Homes

ELKO, Nev. — Brandy Holbrook spent April driving hundreds of miles across four counties in northeastern Nevada to deliver a plea to local leaders about a smoldering crisis in the regional foster care system.

A shortage of homes for children and teens in need of care in this sprawling rural corner of the state pushed officials to temporarily house kids in casino hotel rooms, where state workers watched over them while seeking foster homes. Holbrook, a state social services manager based in Elko, said it’s normal to see fluctuations in need but that early 2023 was the worst she has witnessed during her 20 years working for Nevada’s Division of Child and Family Services.

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