Youth In Foster Care: A Study Of Identity

by Catherine Roller White, M.A.; Anne Havalchak, M.P.A.; Lovie Jackson, M.S.W.; Kirk O’Brien, Ph.D.; and Peter J. Pecora, Ph.D.

With assistance from Casey Family Programs’ direct services offices, interviewers from the University of Michigan completed interviews with 188 adolescents in Casey care in summer and fall 2006. The survey included questions about mental health, spirituality, ethnic identity, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

The study found similar mental health diagnosis rates, in the past year, among Casey youth and youth in the general population. Lifetime rates, however, were higher among Casey youth.

Exploratory results related to spirituality, ethnic identity, and sexual orientation are also presented. The report concludes with policy, program, and research recommendations.