ATLANTA (WSAV) — Georgia lawmakers say new models are needed with the state spending nearly $30 million in a process called “hoteling” just last year alone – where foster children stay in hotels because the state can’t find them a home.

“I think foster care and adoption are obvious pieces. We have areas that need to be addressed,” said State Rep. Brent Cox (R-North Georgia).  “I think that the ideas are coming together and make solutions to take care of these kids.”

The Department of Human Services says it costs about $1500 a night– with lawmakers saying “hoteling” needs to end because children don’t get a stable environment or the proper avenues for treatment.

“Several years ago I was on a study committee dealing with foster parents and we need to find incentive for parents to have what they need. Sometimes it’s coming out of their pockets,” said State Rep. Dexter Sharper (D-Valdosta). 

According to Foster Care Capacity, Georgia can count more than 11,000 foster kids that need homes but the state reports less than 5,000 homes are available.

Dexter Sharper said, “Safety is number one. But kids are in schools like food, and what we can do as a government to have the other supplies.”

Georgia trains and supports foster parents and partners with several private agencies so that kids can go to foster homes until a family is ready to adopt them.

“We have a lot people in foster care but I want to see them into being adopted,” said Sharper. 

To adopt in Georgia, you have to be a resident, at least 21-years-old and 10 years older than the child. If you would like to know more about the adoption process in Georgia,  you can check out the links on the department of family and children services’ website.