Hearts of Yolo: Bob Garcia

Thursday, Nov 17, 2016

Bob Garcia heard about Yolo County CASA through a friend. As a retired elementary school teacher and principal, Bob knows all too well how much foster children need support. “When a child is suddenly moved out of the home, we see the effects in every aspect of their lives. As a teacher and principal, I witnessed first-hand what happens to a child’s mood, school performance, and overall well-being when that child is in crisis. I was moved to make a difference through Yolo County CASA.”

Bob’s experience as a father also inspired him to become a CASA. “My wife and I have three boys of our own and we tried to give them everything we could to succeed. Foster children lose that support system. Foster parents try their absolute best but with large caseloads, it is impossible to be everything to every child. If I can step in and make a small difference in some way, I am completely on board.”

Getting to know his CASA child really well has been very important to Bob in the year he has had his case. “My CASA child’s childhood is much different than mine ever was so I try really hard to understand exactly how he feels. I don’t have a good point of reference to compare his experiences to so I listen very carefully.”

When Bob goes to court on behalf of his CASA child, he is always struck by how many people are involved in the case and how many children for which they are responsible. “There are lawyers, therapists, and social workers. Every social worker has several cases at once and the social workers are in charge of coordinating everything regarding the child’s placement. After my first court visit, I really understood why it is so important to have a CASA that brings everything together and represents the child. I also gained even more respect for how hard the social workers work.”

As Bob reflects on the most important part of being a CASA, he cites consistency. “My CASA child is on his fifth placement in one year. If he can count on something consistent each week, I feel like that makes a big difference, and I feel fortunate that I can fill that role for him.”

Thank you, Bob, for making a huge impact in the life of a foster child. 

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