Officials say far fewer foster care placements are available in south-central Idaho than in the rest of the state, while the number of children removed from their homes is on the rise.

The Times-News reports that last year 181 children from the region were removed from their homes, most because of neglect. That compares to 161 children removed in 2012, according to numbers from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

A February report from the Idaho Office of Performance Evaluations found the foster care system is overburdened across the state. Last month lawmakers agreed to create a committee to study the state's foster care system and recommend improvements, but in the meantime the shortage of licensed foster parents remains.