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Should foster youth age out at 21? This week’s cutoff of pandemic relief money raises the question

Taylor Campbell, a 21-year-old who may lose foster care benefits at the end of the month that had been extended because of the pandemic, stands outside Joe’s Deli in Fife where she works part-time Friday, September 24, 2021.  

She worries what will happen if she loses the roughly $800 a month she gets from the foster care system. A program that continues those benefits for those who would otherwise age out at 21 is due to expire at the end of September. 

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"These young people don't tend to have the kind of safety nets that other young adults do," says an advocate. Some, including at the agency in charge of the foster system, are talking about continuing aid further into adulthood.

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