Garcia's research trajectory is informed and enriched by his wealth of experience as a former Child Protective Services Worker and Supervisor in Washington State. Since earning his doctoral degree in Social Welfare at the University of Washington in 2010, his research and publication record to date has focused on understanding epidemiological trends related to children of color’s experiences in foster care; and etiological explanations for their increased risk of out-of-home displacement, and lack of access to and use of effective mental health interventions as compared to their Caucasian counterparts. In addition, his research interests involve addressing the complexities of immigration and child welfare system involvements among Latino youth and families; and understanding how and under what conditions providers and system leaders in child-serving agencies father, interpret, and use to scale-up evidence-based practices.
Underscores the need to identify the organizational and socio-political factors by which mental healths services and resources meet client demands that influence REU, and to recruit and retain providers with a graduate degree to negotiate work demands and interpret research evidence.
Demonstrates that caseworkers are less likely to experience barriers and facilitators in delivering services to children and families of color at the micro, mezzo, and macro practice levels.
Argues that African American youths were less likely to receive services than their Caucasian counterparts, underscoring the need to develop and implement strategies to promote an organizational climate conducive to reducing racial disparities.
Compares different approaches to measuring racial/ethnic disparities in mental health service use among a nationwide representative sample of children referred to the child welfare system and compare the magnitude and direction of potential disparities in mental health service use over time.