In today’s Volunteer spotlight, we are getting to know CASA Volunteer Whitney Piedfort a little bit more. Whitney has been a CASA for over nine years, which is an incredible commitment. Her passion for helping children has made her an absolute treasure that we are so grateful for.  

As you can imagine, she has seen and heard a lot in that time span, so it was interesting to get her perspective on what it means to advocate for children who have experienced abuse or neglect and what keeps her going. We hope you enjoy learning about this amazing volunteer as much as we did! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m a born and raised Austinite, Texas A&M graduate, and have worked in full-time ministry for the past 14 years, most recently as my church’s event coordinator.

 

What inspired you to become a CASA?

 I’ve been passionate about answering the biblical call to care for the orphan since 2009. After living in Mexico and volunteering at an orphanage in 2013-2014, I knew when I moved back to the US, I wanted to find a way to make an impact in the foster care system and discovered CASA. It was easy to see what an impact CASA volunteers have on the system, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that.

 

What are some of the rewarding parts of volunteering at CASA?

I’ve been able to witness first-hand how having CASA on a case truly ensures the best interest of the child is achieved. There are crucial services/decisions that I’ve been able to advocate for over the past 9 years as a CASA, that resulted in a better outcome for the child and ultimately their permanency. 

 

Are there any challenges or surprises?

I think the most challenging part is seeing how many roadblocks exist in the system from overloaded CPS workers that then leave, to not enough Medicaid covered therapists or bilingual providers, to not enough foster homes. But that is just another reason we need CASAs on a case to be a consistent support, to advocate for out of the box solutions, and to ensure the child’s voice is heard.   

 

What other hobbies or activities do you do in your free time?

I enjoy DIY projects, hiking, cooking, thrifting, and Hotworx! 

 

If you could take a trip anywhere …

Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are next on my list!

Is there anything else you want to tell us?

Being a CASA has been the most rewarding opportunity and I recommend it to anyone wanting to make an impact in the life of a kid in foster care.