Teenagers who age out of Nebraska's foster care system could qualify for medical benefits, college financial aid and other help adjusting to adulthood until they turn 21, under a bill in the Legislature.
The measure by Lincoln Sen. Amanda McGill would extend benefits to youths who age out of the state's foster care system at 19. The bill's future is uncertain because of other state funding priorities, but McGill says it would create long-term savings by reducing the number of young adults in prison, who are homeless or have unplanned pregnancies.
The Department of Health and Human Services says the number of children aging out of the system has increased in recent years, from 186 in fiscal 2006 to 200 during the fiscal year that ended in June.
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