Hearts of Yolo: Casie Chavarria-Hiett

Friday, Aug 11, 2017

Casie Chavarria-Hiett has always loved helping those in need, especially children. She works as a paraprofessional educator at the Woodland school district and also works as an in-home support person. She has three children of her own.

Casie has always wanted to be a foster parent someday. In fact, when she was a little girl, it’s what she told her mom she wanted to do. Casie’s cousin used to be a CASA volunteer in another county and is now a foster parent. When Casie was at a sporting event with her kids at the local YMCA, she saw a flyer about an open house in Yolo County CASA’s new office. “My desire to help those in need, my desire to eventually foster, and my cousin’s positive experience being a CASA volunteer all came together. I applied for the next training.”

Casie has had her current case for a little over a year--two preteen sisters. She is grateful to have the opportunity to help. “There are many layers to being a CASA volunteer. My CASA children are very vocal about what they want, and I help them sort through it all and present it to the court. They were in a foster home for about eight months before receiving permanent placement and I was there observing, making sure it was best for them. I also try really hard to make sure they get resources they need like extra tutoring or the chance to be involved in sports.”

Casie also emphasizes the importance of having fun. “These kids have been through so much. It’s important to remember to let them be kids and have fun. For example, the girls love playing soccer. One day we took the soccer ball to a park and it was sprinkling. Within minutes, it began pouring rain. We laughed so hard and decided to keep playing. We still talk about that day.”

And sometimes the simplest moments yield the biggest breakthroughs. “Quality time is important. Sometimes we just go for a ride, to McDonald’s, or even sit in the park and chat. We learn so much about each other in those moments.”

As for the future, Casie hopes to stay in touch with her CASA children after their case is over. “We’ve talked about it and imagine ourselves in each other’s lives always.” She also hopes to continue her service as a CASA volunteer and follow her dream of being a foster parent someday. “When the time is right, I know I will become a foster parent, and right now, helping foster children through Yolo County CASA is extremely fulfilling.”

To people who may be thinking about becoming a CASA and worried about the time commitment, Casie encourages them to just do it. “I have three kids and a busy work schedule. If I kept waiting for the time to be right, I might have missed out on one of the most special parts of my life.”

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