A cot, squeezed in among office cubicles at a child abuse hotline office, where a teen slept in June 2016.

Courtesy of Shamus Cooke via OPB

A settlement to stop Oregon’s foster kids from being temporarily housed in hotels and state offices has broken down.

In the settlement last November, the state agreed to immediately stop using hotels and offices as temporary housing, unless there was an emergency, like the lack of a safe foster home.

It’s not clear why the settlement broke down. Neither side has made a comment.

But court papers show the state views temporary stays in hotels as a “safety valve.” Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that “safety valve” is unconstitutional and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In court filings last month, Oregon’s attorney general said the state hasn’t lodged a child overnight in an office for six months.

But some officials point out that some foster kids prefer a temporary stay in a hotel to being placed with a foster family.

The state is hoping to open a shelter for foster youth this summer.

On average, there are about 7,600 foster youth in the system at any one time.

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