MHA's Court Appointed Special Advocates Named Volunteer Spirit Award Winners
Volunteer Spirit Awards

The Mental Health Association of Westchester (MHA) congratulates its Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers, who received Volunteer New York’s Social Advocacy Award at the 41st annual Volunteer Spirit Awards this spring.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are highly trained volunteers, assigned by Family Court Judges, to work with children and youth in foster care or at risk of removal from their home due to abuse and neglect. CASAs advocate for the needs of the youth with which they work, with an emphasis on education and physical and emotional health needs. The volunteer advocates remain on the Family Court case until a child is adopted, reunified with parents or ages out of foster care.

“Our CASA volunteers are deeply dedicated, passionate and relentless in their mission to help youth in foster care,” said MHA CEO Charlotte Östman, LCSW-R. “They are more than just a presence at Court hearings – they are the caring adult at graduations, football games, birthday celebrations and through many other life events and milestones. They are cheering on the children and teenagers they’ve developed meaningful relationships with, encouraging them in their pursuits and letting them know they’ll always have someone in their corner. We are proud of our CASA volunteers and the tremendous work they do to benefit this vulnerable population. On behalf of the staff and board of MHA, we congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”

MHA Board Member and CASA volunteer Mary Jo Bramson accepted the award on behalf of the group of more than 70 volunteers during Volunteer New York’s virtual breakfast event.

“As a community we should be proud that the spirit of volunteerism in our community, the urgency to give back and help others during times of need has been at an all-time high throughout this pandemic,” said Volunteer New York! Executive Director, Jeanette Gisbert. “The Volunteer Spirit Awards is the time we come together to celebrate and recognize the importance of volunteers that keep our community resilient and connected."

To learn more about CASA, please contact Michaele McIlnay, Program Director of Children’s Advocacy Services, at 914-345-5900, ext. 7518 or

CASA volunteers