The Legacy Award recognizes the career of a behavioral health leader.
Susie Huhn, CEO of Casa de Los Niños
Susie Huhn is the CEO of Casa de Los Niños in Tucson, Arizona. For over 40 years they have been a voice for change and advocacy providing vital resources for children and their families promoting child well-being and family stability. With the support of community leaders, volunteers, and donors, Casa de Los Niños helps prevent child abuse and helps families to stay together. At the shelter children get loving attention and care, all at no charge to their families. Children can see medical specialists, therapists, get whatever treatment they need. It’s the only shelter in Arizona that can give children 24-hour medical care.
In addition, Casa de los Niños forms vital partnerships with families so every child can be raised in a healthy home. A deep-rooted community connection acts as a guiding force for the organization’s vision to increase the number of children and families living safe and healthy lives. They deliver a continuum of services; evidence-based and best practice models meld together prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies to effectively address the needs of at-risk children and their families. By focusing on the whole family, Casa de los Niños helps everyone become stronger, more resilient, and able to thrive.
“Casa is a magical place in the community,” Susie said. “You take it one family at a time; how do you improve the life of that one child and that one parent today?”
Susie has grown her agency to be one of the premier child serving agencies in Arizona, helping change lives for generations. She is a tireless advocate for children and their families, particularly those who have interfaces with the Department of Child Safety. Last fiscal year their programs served over 6,000 kids and over 4,000 families.
Susie was inspired to dedicate her life to helping children by an experience she had volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America where she saw firsthand how difficult it was to be raised by a system rather than by a family. She vowed then that, as a community, more could be done to help children. She also lobbied for a White House Conference on Children and Youth. Working with members of Congress, Huhn helped introduce a bill to convene a new conference on children.
Since then she has spent many years working to improve the lives of Arizona’s children. Susie also serves on many Boards and committees, including The Board of the National Council for Health and Human Service Providers. In 2017 she was honored as a Champion for Children by the Children’s Action Alliance in recognition of her many years of advocacy on behalf of children in Arizona. Susie is a tireless and instrumental voice helping everyone in her community understand, “What is family? For a country as rich in resources as we are, we could do better for children,” she said.