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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Foster kids should receive care to age 21

Foster children should not receive exceptions

I’m very confused about the guest column “Allow kids in foster care to age 21” [Opinion, March 15]. I understand that 18 is the cutoff for paid foster care. But does that mean their foster families throw them out on the streets on their 18th birthday?

One would think that if the foster families were in it for more than the money, they would continue to foster the child, just as they would continue to parent their non-fostered children. Or perhaps there is some law that the children must be tossed out?

Another confusing point: Jim Thofelis states that youth who pursue their postsecondary education are already eligible to remain in foster care to age 21. If that is the case, why would any change to current law be necessary? If he’s referring to financial support in his comment that “many do not get this support,” well, many who aren’t fostered also don’t get this support, so why should a foster child receive special benefits that the average youth may not also receive?

As in any family, if they cannot afford to pursue postsecondary education, they should work to earn the money to get there themselves, rather than relying on taxpayers to pave the way for them.

–Debra Nelson, Edmonds

Comments | More in Children, Washington Legislature | Topics: foster care

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