Child Welfare Legal Specialist
Suzanne Garcia, Tribal Legal and Child Welfare Specialist
Suzanne Garcia serves as TLPI’s Tribal Legal and Child Welfare Specialist. She provides training and technical assistance on tribal child welfare and related topics such as the commercial sexual exploitation of children and tribal/state/local collaboration. Prior to coming to TLPI, Suzanne served as the Assistant General Counsel for the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California for over seven years. In that role, she worked extensively with child welfare issues, including negotiating tribal-county agreements, developing policies and procedures, and extensive work with the Tribal Title IV-E development grant, Tribal Court Improvement grant, and Children’s Justice Act grant. Suzanne represented the Tribe in ICWA child welfare proceedings in state courts and child dependency cases in Washoe tribal court. She also developed and delivered both written and oral testimony in response to requests for consultation from ACF, IHS, BIA, and the DOJ. As a representative of the Washoe Tribe, Suzanne provided excellent peer-to-peer information sharing with tribes throughout the country about ‘lessons learned,’ and offering insight to the Washoe tribal experience in developing Tribal IV-E plans. Suzanne has coordinated several tribal gatherings focused on tribal access to Title IV-E direct funding. Suzanne holds a Jurisprudence Doctor degree from the University of Arizona College of Law and an Applied Baccalaureate degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Davis.