A native New Yorker, Claudia has been a social issues reporter for more than two decades, focusing on race, class, education, corrections and juvenile justice. For seven years she was a regular contributor to The New York Times. In 2003, Claudia moved to Seattle, where her investigations won several First Place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, and her coverage of youth violence earned a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. In 2009, Claudia's reporting on youth gangs was honored by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and subsequently appeared in Mother Jones and the Seattle Times. A member of the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, she frequently gives talks on objectivity, fairness and the changing nature of American journalism.
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Two bills now before the state legislature, including one that got a Senate committee hearing this week (SB 5405), seek to ease the rocky transition out of foster care in Washington by extending monthly benefits to age 21. Currently, nearly 600 wards of the state turn 18 each year with little in the way of a support network, and the results are no surprise: Former foster youth have off-the-charts rates of homelessness and post-traumatic stress.