a young boy sites next to his grandmother

Foster Care and the Development of Racial and Ethnic Identity

Research BriefChild WelfareJul 11 2024



Ramatou Diakite, Teddy Smith, and Alexander Gaither are youth/community researchers who partnered with Child Trends on this work.

We develop our identities, including our racial and ethnic identities, as we take in cultural messages during our adolescent and young adult years. While some research shows that young people may change their racial and ethnic identity over time, this demographic characteristic is often treated as static and typically captured only once in longitudinal data. The percentage who re-identify may be more pronounced (or otherwise experienced differently) among young people who are currently (or were formerly) in foster care. Young people in foster care may not have access to information about their family of origin, ancestry, culture, or background. Therefore, they may experience the racial socialization process differently, with both positive and negative interactions related to race and ethnicity with caseworkers, teachers, counselors, peers, and potential employers.

For example, implicit or explicit racial bias may create opportunities and barriers at important moments during the transition to adulthood, such as job applications or the pursuit of post-secondary education. A better understanding of how racial and ethnic identities form or change—and what those changes may mean—may advance racial equity, practitioners’ and researchers’ use of demographic information, and young people’s own understanding of this aspect of their development.

In this brief, we first present background research on the development of racial and ethnic identity (sometimes referred to in this brief simply as “racial identity”) and the factors that influence identity development. Next, we qualitatively explore—through interviews with 29 young people with foster care experience—the various meanings ascribed to changing one’s racial identity. Lastly, we discuss implications of the research for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers; limitations of the current research design; and suggestions for more research to explore this developmental process.

79% of participants in our study said their child welfare system experiences influenced them to change their racial and ethnic identity.


Racial identity is a social construct that influences how individuals see themselves, how people see the world, how others perceive an individual, how individuals and groups are treated, and how they navigate the world. This relationship is exemplified by the concept of racial passing, whereby a person is perceived to be of a different racial or ethnic group than the one with which they self-identify. Racial identity is shaped by many different factors, including phenotypical attributes (e.g., skin color and hair texture), ancestry, and culture (e.g., traditions within a region or shared culture). In addition to external factors shaping racial socialization, individuals also develop their own self-identification that can change over time.

Key Takeaways

  • This study features the voices of young people who have been in foster care and who have experienced the normative developmental process of racial and ethnic identity development.
  • Adults and peers in the child welfare system, school, workplace, and family are key influences on the decision to make an identity change.
  • Young people who have supportive environments in which to explore shifting their racial and ethnic identity report more pride and less shame in their identity after these changes.
  • Young people expressed both positive and negative shifts in their worldviews that reveal the profound impact of having or lacking support in navigating racial identity in our race-conscious society.
  • Practitioners can reduce biases and inequities within the child welfare field by ensuring that young people have access to information about their family background, race, and culture while in foster care and by helping them maintain connections to relatives or other adults who share those identities. They should also periodically ask young people how they identify, knowing these answers may change.

Racial and ethnic identity development

Racial and ethnic identity development is a key piece of forming one’s identity that starts in early childhood and develops more rapidly in late adolescence as young people develop a more nuanced sense of self, increased awareness of social norms and groups, and problem-solving skills. One component of this developmental period is racial socialization, or the process of receiving and internalizing messages about racial identity and heritage. Families, particularly parents, are the earliest source of racial socialization—starting conversations, teaching about traditions, and facilitating interactions with communities that teach young people values, activities, and behaviors associated with their racial identity. Families also play a key role in preparing young people for living in a race-conscious society, which includes information about racial discrimination and stigmatization they may experience or witness. Other sources of racial socialization include interactions with peers, participation in cultural activities, and exposure to discrimination.

Racial and ethnic identity fluidity refers to the process of changing one’s race or ethnicity and varies widely across groups. A study of United States Census data from 162 million people from 2000 to 2010 found that about 9.8 million people (or 6% of the sample) changed their racial or ethnic identity. Changes were most prevalent among individuals who identified as American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and two or more races. Other research shows that racial identification stays largely consistent among White, non-Hispanic (NH); Black, NH; and Asian, NH individuals.

Foster care can influence young people’s racial and ethnic identity development

Young people currently or formerly in foster care may experience a unique and complicated path toward developing a racial and ethnic identity due to systemic/structural contexts associated with the child welfare system—including denied or delayed knowledge of family history, placement in transracial or transethnic foster homes, and decreased access to individuals who share their racial or ethnic identity. Research shows that young people currently or formerly in foster care are more likely to change their racial identity than young people not in foster care. Furthermore, state privacy laws designed to protect everyone’s right to privacy may make it challenging for young people who have been adopted to obtain their own records, such as original birth certificates, medical histories, and information about their families of origin (e.g., their race or religion).

When young people are removed from their families of origin, they may lose touch with their ancestral roots and cultures, which may alter their racial and ethnic identities. For example, young people who have been impacted by transracial, transethnic, or transnational placements—placements in which children and caregivers are not the same race, ethnicity, or nationality—may experience challenges due to shifting socialization practices across racial and ethnic groups and disconnection to individuals who have shared identities. The intergenerational nature of foster care may create a cycle wherein a person in foster care does not learn about their ancestry and family history and then has a child (also subsequently placed in foster care) who also may lack access to that information. Furthermore, the child welfare system has a long history of separating Indigenous youth from their communities and placing them with White families. The Indian Adoption Act of 1958, Indian Adoption Project, and Adoption Resource Exchanges systems have lasting impacts on the Indigenous communities impacted by these policies, and the inclusion of culturally supportive practices in each of these acts highlights the importance of preserving cultural connections and providing young people with information and connections to their families and cultures.

For this study, we conducted interviews with 29 young people who are currently (or were formerly) in foster care. The next section presents the themes from those interviews. For more information on the research team,[1] the previous study that prompted this one, and our recruitment and data collection techniques, please see the Methodology and Data section.

Presentation of Findings

Patterns of racial and ethnic identity changes

The young people we interviewed fit within five broad patterns of racial and ethnic identity change. “Across identities of color” refers to shifts from one identity of color to another identity of color. “To identities of color” refers to a shift from White, NH to an identity of color. “Situational use of declared identity” refers to shifts from one’s declared identity—typically Black, NH in this study—that only occur in select situations, such when completing job applications. “To White, NH identity” refers to shifts from either White, NH (i.e., no change) or an identity of color to White, NH. “To undeclared identity” refers to shifts from either Black, NH to identifying as having no race/ethnicity or from an unknown identity to a still unknown identity with minimal clarity added. See Figure 1a below for the percentages of young people who fit within each pattern and Figure 1b for details on each pattern. Although this figure involves detailed categorizations to discuss the patterns of change, we use the racial and ethnic identity terms used by participants for the rest of the findings section.

Figure 1a: Percentage of Interviewees in Each Pattern of Racial and Ethnic Identity Change

Figure 1a: Percentage of Interviewees in Each Pattern of Racial and Ethnic Identity Change

Figure 1b: Patterns of Racial and Ethnic Identity Change, by Type of Shift

Figure 1b: Patterns of Racial and Ethnic Identity Change, by Type of Shift

Interview themes

Impact of messages from other people

In their responses, young people revealed strong external influences on their self-perception of racial and ethnic identities. When young people received positive or neutral responses to the racial identities they expressed, they described feeling comfortable with that identity. When their racial identity was met with scrutiny or invalidation from others, however, they were more likely to question their own understanding of identity as opposed to questioning the validity of the negative message. People often use cues from their environments as a benchmark for their own perspectives, so it makes sense that these external messages carry such weight. Young people also reflected on the scarcity of opportunities to change other people’s pre-existing notions, whether positive or negative.

Influences and reasons for changing racial and ethnic identity

Young people mentioned four influences that most affected their decision to change their racial and ethnic identity: the child welfare system (23 young people; 79% of participants), family (13 young people; 45%), school (13 young people; 45%), and employment practices (6 young people; 21%).

When asked about their reasons for changing their racial and ethnic identities, young people most often said they were responding to existing societal biases (14 young people; 48%), that they had learned new information about their family of origin (11 young people; 38%), or that they had experienced a stronger sense of identity with a particular racial and ethnic group (7 young people; 24%).[2] One young woman, age 24, who selectively uses her Black identity, reflected on existing societal biases: “Like it’s just hard. Like I love myself. I love my skin color. I love African Americans. I love all my Black people, but I think it’s just hard for us overall, not even just being in foster care because we’re just not—we’re always gonna—personally I feel like I’m always gonna feel kind of left out.”

Figure 2. Interviewees Identified Four Key Influences on Changes to Their Racial or Ethnic Identities

Figure 2. Interviewees Identified Four Key Influences on Changes to Their Racial or Ethnic Identities

Young people briefly shared additional context about the changes in identity they had made. In describing their reasons for changing their racial and ethnic identities, some young people reported seeking safe environments in which to explore and express their racial identities. Having a welcoming space for this processing was connected to whether young people perceived the change process as positive or negative. Participants were evenly split on whether the change happened gradually over time (8 young people; 28%) or occurred in response to a specific event (8 young people; 28%)—such as receiving DNA ancestry results or moving to a new city or school with a more racially diverse population—while four young people (14%) said the change was mostly gradual but had a defining event. The remaining nine young people (31%) did not explicitly state whether they considered their change to be gradual or event-specific.

Child welfare system influence

All 29 young people we interviewed mentioned the influence of the child welfare system. Although we probed about this influence if the young person did not mention it in their initial response, six young people (21% of participants) said it had no notable influence—positive or negative—on their decision to change how they racially/ethnically identify. Young people more often described people within the child welfare system (e.g., foster parents, caseworkers, family court judges, and group home staff) as a negative experience due to inconsistent conversations about racial and ethnic identity. Caseworkers and foster care providers at times were unable or unwilling to answer young people’s questions about their racial and ethnic background. One young woman reflected on how little choice young people have in their placements:

“I think a big one is you really don’t have a lot of choices once you go into the foster care system. You’re kind of just, like, thrown into whatever home and thrown into whatever school. And there [are] no choices like do you wanna go into a dual language immersion school, for example. Or do you wanna, like, have these cultural connections, even if it’s not through your foster parent or your, like, family that you came from.”

– Young woman, 24, who changed from a multiracial identity to Mexican American

Importantly, though, some young people did find support from their caseworkers. For example, one young man, age 25, who selectively uses his Black identity, spoke about a Black caseworker he had for a few months; this caseworker was a stronger advocate and was more personally invested in his well-being and success than White caseworkers had been:

“I noticed there was a difference when I had someone that kind of looked like me. [laughs] You know what I’m saying, doing the work on my behalf […] When they gave me someone that was, you know, like this [rubs the back of his hand to indicate his brown skin tone]. Yeah, [my experience] got way better.”

Young people similarly noted that the racial and ethnic identities of other youth with whom they shared their current placement affected their sense of belonging. When young people shared a racial identity with most of their peers in that placement, they developed a sense of connection and solidarity, while a racial and ethnic mismatch was more likely to highlight cultural differences and disparities in experiences. Three young people (10%) who identified as Black described racist encounters with child welfare workers or in foster care placements, which they attributed to the disparities Black foster youth encounter compared to their White peers in foster care:

“I just felt like [White foster youth] got more freedom. They got to do their hair more than everybody else. They got to wear makeup. They were able to do all those sort of things, but when any of us Black girls asked, we were told no because it was gonna take us too long or because we were gonna make a mess.

– Young woman, 24, who changed from Black to an undeclared identity

Family influence

Many young people shared narratives about how access to their families of origin (or lack of access) shaped their racial and ethnic identity from a young age. Among the 14 participants (48%) who spoke about familial influence, four young people (14%) described cultural learning experiences with their grandmothers—for example, learning Spanish or celebrating Middle Eastern heritage through traditional meals and holidays.

“I actually lived with [my grandparents] a little bit before they determined, like, the language barrier was just not gonna work out for me to live with them long term. They were kind of, like, telling me to embrace that I was Latino and everything. And I, you know, at the time that’s what I believed as well.”

– Young woman, 25, who deeply considered changing from White to Latina

Six participants (21%) reflected on their uncertainty about their racial and ethnic identities because they could not visit their families or were unable to connect with relatives on one side of their family. These participants often adopted a multiracial identity as they grew older and found more information about disconnected relatives. One participant met her mother’s family for the first time at age 24 and reconnected with her Asian identity after being raised in a very White-centered, anti-Asian foster home in which she was taught that she was White. Three participants’ (10%) most meaningful racial identity exploration began with a DNA testing kit, which helped them learn more about their lesser-known ancestry. In one case, a young person joyfully connected with an uncle and eventually her dad (the uncle’s brother) for the first time during the 2020 pandemic:

“The second [DNA ancestry test] I took connects you to people who you have some kind of familial match. And I had an uncle who did it, and he contacted me through the website and asked me, like, how am I his niece and who is my dad? I didn’t know my dad’s name, maybe just a nickname. […My uncle] told me, like, ‘Oh, that’s my brother!’ and he got [my dad’s] contact information, like, his cell phone number [for me].”

– Young woman, 23, who selectively uses her Black identity

School influence

Thirteen young people (45%) reflected on both adults in their schools (e.g., principals, teachers, and coaches) and their classmates as influences on their racial and ethnic identity development. Some participants spoke to negative middle or high school experiences while navigating their racial identities, including racist remarks and inequitable treatment from teachers and students of other racial identities. One student described receiving punishment for repeating a statement while a White classmate did not face consequences for the same action:

“I remember me and this one girl were in class together, and she identified as White. She said something, and she didn’t get in trouble for it. So, when I repeated what she said, I got in trouble. So I felt like I got in trouble because I was Black and I repeated it. I just felt like they got more freedom.”

– Young woman, 24, who changed from Black to an undeclared identity

Alternately, the middle and high school years also presented young people with positive opportunities to explore their racial and ethnic identities, such as research on family traditions for writing assignments. Ultimately, as participants matured and graduated from high school, college provided an opportunity for growth and acceptance. Meeting college peers from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds—and, often, the opportunity to meet those from a shared racial and ethnic background—allowed for discovery of similarities and safer spaces to navigate racial identity. This transition from high school to college enabled young people to spend time with others who shared their identity and to confidently navigate their own racial and ethnic background:

“Being in foster care and being separated even from some of my siblings […], it was never something I was allowed to talk about. I was never in families who were Mexican, [so…], even if I had those questions, there was never anyone to ask them to. So, it wasn’t until college when I was exposed to people who looked like me, sounded like me, and had similar identities to me that I could start to really understand, like, who am I and why is my experience always feel so different from the people I grew up with and lived with?”

– Young woman, 21, who changed from White to Hispanic, specifically Mexican

Employment practices influence

Work—and specifically employment practice—was uniquely cited by Black respondents as a source of influence. Six Black young people (21%) noted that they often chose different racial and ethnic identities to combat hiring discrimination. They noticed that when they marked their racial and ethnic identity as Black on job applications, they received fewer interviews or follow-ups than if they left the question blank or selected a different racial and ethnic identity, such as multiracial or White. One young woman, age 24, who selectively uses her Black identity, described this experience: “I just felt like sometimes when I put […] ‘Black’ on, like, my applications and stuff, sometimes I might not get a call back, but when I started putting in ‘White,’ like everybody was calling me back instead.” One young person noticed an increase in the tracked number of views her resume received on a job posting platform after making this same change.

We asked these six young people for clarification on whether the changes they made on job applications accurately reflected their perceived identity. Two of the young people noted that multiracial would be accurate due to their Native American heritage, but all young people who described an employment practice influence would have preferred to mark Black. These experiences not only reflect the well-documented multidimensionality of racial and ethnic identity but also the position that participants are experts on what is meaningful about an experience. We heard this theme from multiple young people, and participants deeply reflected on the profound impact that their decisions have had on their level of comfort and confidence in their racial identity.

Experiences after changing racial and ethnic identity

We asked young people to share their experiences following their change in racial or ethnic identity and to discuss what meaning they ascribe to this change. Many young people first noted that they were still processing the change and its effect on their life:

“I’m still processing what my identity continues to mean to me and to other people on my heritage, my environment around me now and from the past, and I am still learning about the importance of my heritage and different ways to connect. I try not to feel like I’m alienated from all these groups because on the exterior, I look Asian, but on the interior, I was raised, you know, in a Caucasian community [by foster parents who told me I was Caucasian].”

– Young woman, 34, who changed from White to Asian

When asked whether they had experienced a change in how they see themselves, 19 young people (66%) reported a more positive view of their identity after making the change. These young people noted that information they had gained from family members gave them confidence in their decision and reduced the shame of either not knowing their ethnic background or not feeling enough connection to express that background. Seven of the remaining young people (24%) did not speak on the topic at all, and three (14%) declined to answer the question because they were still processing the change. Participants who had sought (and found) a safer space in which to explore their racial and ethnic identity expressed greater pride in their chosen identity when they knew others affirmed this identity:

“It’s a sense of pride honestly, like, to know that it’s okay to be yourself and sometimes, like, you’re not in rooms where you know that it’s okay to be yourself. [It helps to know] there are people who are willing to affirm you, who can be on the same page as you [even if those people] are not vocal about it.”

– Young woman, age not given, who changed from mixed to Black

Changes in how young people viewed the world were more divided. While half of young people (14, or 48%) expressed a more positive world view, the other half (also 14, or 48%) expressed mixed or negative world views. (One young person did not speak to changes in their world view.) Young people who reflected positively noted that they had gained optimism about society’s views on race through their affirming interactions with family and peers as they grew older:

“It gave me more confidence to be able to kind of interact with other Hispanic people in a way that didn’t feel like I was an impostor […] trying to learn how to be like them. […] Having that identity gave me a little more comfort in not only being able to distinguish myself from other people, but also being able to assimilate to other people and saying, you know, we both share a culture and similar understandings of the world.”

– Young man, 22, who changed from uncertain Hispanic heritage to Mexican and Puerto Rican

On the other hand, when young people espoused more negative world views, these reflections most often involved disappointment and frustration that it was even necessary to navigate racial and ethnic identity so carefully:

“It was hard to go through, and I never really, like, stopped and really, like, talked about it or looked at it until, like, right now as we speak. […] It made me like bitter to some people or some situations, because [while] I have family members—cousins—that are White [or] married to White women or White men, it does make me more, like, hostile to that color because I just feel like I was never accepted, or I felt like I needed to be them [a White person] to be accepted, or I needed to be their color to get some type of identify [as an individual], you know. Even with me being in our foster home and my foster mom being White, I felt so out of place.”

– Young woman, 26, who selectively uses her Black identity

And finally, while 27 young people (93%) believed their change in racial or ethnic identity would be permanent, two young people who currently held an undeclared racial identity expressed uncertainty in the permanence of that identity. One young woman who was unsure of her racial identity planned to continue digging for information to better understand who she was. The other young woman was momentarily content to not further explore her racial identity, due to her previously mentioned disappointment in needing to navigate her identity to gain a sense of belonging.

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Discussion of Findings

As highlighted in the results from this study, race and ethnicity are fluid for many young people, particularly during adolescence and emerging adulthood. However, racial and ethnic identity are often treated as a stagnant demographic characteristic—an oversimplification that influences both practice and research.

Practice implications

Black and Indigenous young people are overrepresented in the foster care system, as are Hispanic/Latino young people in many states. When working to reduce these disparities, it is imperative that anyone working with foster youth have an accurate understanding of how young people identify their racial and ethnic identity, how they are treated in the foster care system, and the meaning they ascribe to their experiences. Staff at organizations that work with youth who are currently (or were formerly) in foster care should have open and honest conversations with youth about their racial identities and should empower youth to tell them how they identify and to change how they identify as often as needed.

Allowing youth to self-identify can empower them to explore their racial and ethnic identities. It can also make the child welfare system more just by accurately capturing the racial and ethnic identities of young people currently or formerly in foster care, and by encouraging and embracing youths’ autonomy to self-identify. Furthermore, child welfare agencies should partner with youth and listen to their experiences when considering how to advance initiatives to make the system more just; these advancements might include increasing access to original birth certificates for youth who are adopted, exploring guardianship opportunities with youth in addition to other permanency options such as adoption, and increasing access to case files for youth exiting care.

Our findings indicate that experiences within the child welfare system influence a young person’s racial and ethnic identity in many ways. In some cases, the young people we interviewed shared how foster parents helped them learn more about their cultures, gain a sense of self-confidence, and connect with culturally appropriate services. Young people also discussed situations where caseworkers and foster parents were not supportive and contributed to their feelings of disconnection from their culture and sense of being ostracized in placements. The child welfare system and various organizations that provide foster care services should ensure that foster parents and other placement staff (e.g., group home staff) are culturally competent and have the tools to work with young people on their identity development and connections to cultures. Lastly, supportive adults working with youth should listen to those youth and help connect them with others who can meet different needs—for example, speaking to youth in their native languages, helping them learn to cook foods connected to their cultures, or taking them to religious services. In designing supports and services, staff should be attentive to the fluidity of racial identity and aware that some young people remain uncertain about their identities.

Research implications

Researchers should apply an equity lens to their work to ensure that research findings can be used to address disparities across populations and that they do not maintain current systemic racism within research. One approach to applying an equity lens is to examine how race and ethnicity are reported to data collectors (e.g., self-report or not), collected (e.g., multiple time points or one point in time), and analyzed/reported more broadly (e.g., which time point is selected or how the groups were created if combined across groups).

Racial and ethnic identity development should be considered fluid, especially among populations of youth who might have limited knowledge of their ancestors, such as foster youth or youth who have been adopted. Because of this, studies should ensure that youth self-report their racial and ethnic identity when possible. When others are asked to identify an individual’s racial identity, they may miss important nuances about identity. For this reason, administrative data guidelines should encourage staff to ask young people for their racial and ethnic identity without making assumptions. Furthermore, racial and ethnic identity should be collected at multiple time points during a longitudinal data collection effort. Currently, most studies collect racial and ethnicity identity at the start of a study and not at each data collection time point; this oversight may potentially mischaracterize how young people identify. Lastly, when analyzing data—both secondary data analysis and original data—researchers should make transparent decisions about how they examine race and ethnicity. For example, if racial and ethnic identity is captured at multiple time points, researchers should examine whether the variable changed and, if so, should report that change in study findings. Furthermore, researchers should report which time point of racial and ethnic identity is used in the study.

Future Directions

This study has provided a starting point for understanding racial and ethnic identity development within the context of the child welfare system. Further research should explore how the child welfare system can better support young people’s exploration of their racial and ethnic identity during this developmental period. Further, additional research is needed to better understand how racial identity is captured within administrative data and whether this can change over time as young people change their identities. For example, can the racial identity listed on a young person’s case file be updated if they change how they identify? Lastly, research should continue to center youth voices and let youth recommendations guide changes in practice to better support identity development within a child welfare context.


Racial and ethnic identity development is critical for overall healthy adolescent and young adult development, especially among young people who are currently (or were formerly) in foster care and who may navigate this development process differently as a result of their experiences and access to information. There is a notable gap in our current understanding of the significance and fluidity of racial and ethnic identification for young people with foster care experience, which can exacerbate biases and inequalities within the child welfare system. Caseworkers and others who support young people should have an ongoing conversation with youth to provide multiple opportunities for youth to self-report their racial identity while receiving services. They should also have access to resources on approaching conversations about racial identity development and the degree to which they can share information about a young person’s ancestry or culture and should be able to connect young people with available resources within the community. It is imperative to provide resources and support to young people in and after foster care, thereby ensuring that youth have access to information about their family background, race, and culture. Finally, maintaining connections between young people and relatives or adults who share their identities is essential for fostering a sense of belonging and self-awareness.

Methodology and Data

Research team composition

Previous study


Protocol development, interview structure, and analysis

Study Limitations


This research was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. We thank them for their support but acknowledge that the findings and conclusions presented in this report are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Foundation.


We thank the 29 young people who shared their experiences—both positive and negative—with us. It is only through their generosity that we were able to conduct this study and advance research and practical knowledge about youth and young adults who have been in foster care. Additionally, we thank several colleagues who provided input on early drafts, including Karin Malm and Alyssa Liehr. We also thank our colleagues at the Annie E. Casey Foundation who provided input on the project and a review of the manuscript, including Sandy Wilkie, Maria Fernanda Mata, Kimberly Spring, and Jeff Poirier.


[1] Throughout this brief, we refer to the Child Trends researchers, the three Youth Research Advisors (YRAs), and the Local Recruitment Champions as the “research team.” All members of the research team completed human subjects research training and were approved to be part of the research team through the Child Trends Institutional Review Board. The YRAs and the Child Trends research staff jointly crafted the research questions, drafted the protocol, analyzed and interpreted data, and disseminated results.

[2] These percents do not sum to 100 because young people often cited more than one of these reasons.

[3] “Deeply considered” means the young person spent a lot of time carefully thinking about whether to change how they racially/ethnically identify, but ultimately chose not to make that change.

[4] These percentages reflect participants’ current (i.e., changed) racial/ethnic identities.

Suggested Citation

Flannigan, A., Rosenberg, R., Diakite, R. Ibarra, A., Edmondson-Deigh, K., Smith, T., Gaither, A., & Sanders, M. (2024). Foster care and the development of racial and ethnic identity. Child Trends. DOI: 10.56417/7959k6630s