SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A settlement filed in federal court requires the state of Oregon to reduce the number of children it houses in hotels and motels when other options aren't available.

The Statesman Journal reports that the Department of Human Services must limit the number of children in hotels and motels to 24 a year by the end of 2020.

The agency temporarily lodged 213 foster children in motels or hotels for at least a single night in 2017.

Child welfare staff members are with the children during the stays.

The agency is also opening an independent investigation into the so-called "temporary emergency placements."

The lawsuit started in 2016 after two girls aged 4 and 6 were housed in hotels.

A recent audit revealed multiple problems with the foster care system.


Information from: Statesman Journal,