College Directory



Associate Professor, Buckhorn Professor of Social Work
655 Patterson Office Tower

Areas of Expertise

  • Disproportionality and racial disparities in child-serving systems of care (child welfare, behavioral health, schools, juvenile justice)
  • Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions for youth and families of color in child-serving systems of care
  • Providers and system leaders’ acquisition, interpretation, and use of research evidence
  • Development and implementation of effective practices and resources for youth of color aging out of foster care
  • Intersection of immigration and foster care involvement among Latino youth and families
  • Inter-professional practice and research
  • BIPOC Fatherhood engagement and co-equal parenting
  • Trauma-informed care in schools and child welfare agencies
  • Interventions for multi-system youth

Highlighted Publications

  • Garcia, A.R., Watts, C., Carlough, S.L., Christian, C.W., Finck, K.R., Jaffee, S., Greeson, J.K., & Connolly, C. (In Press). A template for implementing interprofessional education in child advocacy. Journal of Social Work Education.
  • Garcia, A.R., Kim, M., & Barnhart, S. (2021). Do mental health services influence child welfare involvement among juvenile justice system involved youth? Journal of Child and Family Studies.
  • Barth, R. P., Berrick, J. D., Garcia, A. R., Drake, B., Jonson-Reid, M., Gyourko, J. R., & Greeson, J. K. P. (2021). Research to consider while effectively re-designing child welfare services. Research on Social Work Practice.
  • Kim, M., Barnhart, S., Garcia, A. R., Jung, N., & Wu, C. (2021). Changes in mental health service use over a decade: Evidence from two cohorts of youth involved in the child welfare system. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.
  • Kim, M., Garcia, A. R., & Lee, L. H. (2021). Dual system youth: Subsequent system re-entry after receiving mental health services. Children and Youth Services Review, 127, 106104.
  • Garcia, A.R., Kim, M., Myers, C., & Trinh, X. (2020). Do implementation contexts for the Positive Parenting Program improve child and parental well-being?: Findings from the PEP-2 child welfare study. Journal of Social Work.
  • Greeson, J.K., Garcia, A.R., Tan, F., Chacon, A., & Ortiz, A.J. (2020). Interventions for youth aging out of foster care: A state of the science review. Children & Youth Services Review, 105005.
  • Garcia, A.R., Myers, C., Morones, S., Ohene, S., & Kim, M. (2020). “It starts from the top”: Caseworkers, leaders, and TripleP providers’ perceptions of implementation processes and contexts. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, & Governance.

Current Projects

  • Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grants – Libraries Application (PI: M. Cahill, CO-I: J. Soohyung, CO-I: A.R. Garcia), 8/1/21-7/30/24. The University of Kentucky, in partnership with the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, will investigate the school readiness supports within public library virtual storytime programs (VSTs) and explore the needs and expectations of stakeholder groups in relation to VSTs. This Research in Service to Practice project will provide data to support the value of public library VSTs in relation to school readiness and community building, uncover evidence to help librarians tailor VSTs to meet the needs of various stakeholders, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities, and produce evidence-based guidelines to support public library VST efforts nationwide.
  • University of Kentucky Translation of Research Interventions in Practice, Populations Pilot Grant (PI: A.R. Garcia, CO-I: G. Sprang), 9/1/21-8/ 31/22. Preparing Schools to Address Childhood Trauma. This pilot study will examine whether a newly developed online training increases teachers and other school personnel’s ability to recognize trauma symptoms among students, and to make referrals to an evidence-based intervention, if warranted. Training will be delivered to the schools that include Fayette County students who are “high risk”, defined by poverty, low school performance, and high adverse childhood experiences.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (PI: A.R. Garcia, CO-I: R. Perez-Figuroa, CO-I: David Cozart), 9/15/20-9/15/23, Fostering Inter-Disciplinary Research-Practice Partnerships to Enhance Father’s Capacities to Promote Child Well-being. Goals of the project: University of Kentucky College of Social Work and the College of Public Health will team up with the director of The Fatherhood Initiative (FI), a program of Lexington Leadership Foundation (LLF), to implement and evaluate evidence-informed curriculum (“24/7 DAD” and “Inside-Out Dad”) intended to equip fathers with the skills, education, and recourses to engage in effective parenting and promote positive child well-being.
  • The Longitudinal Impact of Social Support on Adolescent Mind, Brain, and Behavior Functioning During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The Role of School Leaders in Cultivating a Trauma-Informed School Climate

Alma Mater

  • University of Washington – Master of Social Work, PhD

Get to Know Dr. Garcia

Outside of academia, Dr. Garcia enjoys spending time with his wife and children, participating in sports, traveling, and outdoor excursions such as hiking and camping.