Editor's Note: The following announcement press release was sent to Patch by the Delaware County District Attorney's media relations office,
CASA Youth Advocates, an organization that gives a voice to vulnerable children in the court system, honored Delaware County’s Deputy District Attorney Michael Galantino as its 2012 Youth Advocates’ Angel Champion.
CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, honored Galantino along with John Nee, the 2012 Volunteer Advocate of the year, at its 20th Anniversary Gala and Auction Friday, Nov. 30 at the Drexelbrook Events Center. The evening program’s Special Guest Speaker was Congressman Patrick Meehan who was introduced by District Attorney Jack Whelan, the 2010 CASA Angel Champion recipient.
CASA is a national association that recruits, trains and supports volunteers who represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. This year, CASA’s goal is to serve 200 children in Delaware County, an increase of 14% over 2011.
The Angel Champion award was presented to Galantino because of the excellence and commitment he demonstrates as Deputy Assistant District Attorney and Chief of the Special Victims Unit, prosecuting allegations of abuse of children in Delaware County. He has prosecuted thousands of cases in his career, including more than 130 jury trials to verdict.
“Through his work, he has been an Angel Champion for CASA,” said Shenberger.
The Special Victims Unit works closely with CASA Youth Advocates to promote an effective and efficient response to child abuse while minimizing the trauma to victims.
According to District Attorney Jack Whelan, this multi-disciplinary approach to child abuse reduces the burden on the victim and ensures the best interest of the child.
“Because of the dedication that each court appointed advocate devotes and the partnership that exists between CASA and our office, Delaware County’s most vulnerable victims – the children, are better served and protected,” said DA Whelan. “I am incredibly pleased Deputy DA Galantino is receiving this award, as everyone will agree, it is well deserved.”
All proceeds benefit CASA Youth Advocates, an organization that trains and supervises community volunteers who become Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) to help secure safe, permanent, loving homes for abused and neglected children. CASA volunteer advocates conduct a thorough investigation into each child’s situation, make recommendations to the Court that reflect the child’s best interest, and monitor the case until permanency for the child is achieved, whether that is returning to his or her parents, living with a relative, being adopted or leaving the child welfare system as an adult.
As the vast majority of children in the child welfare system also experience mental illness, developmental delays, chronic health problems, and/or other disabilities, CASA Advocates also facilitate referrals for needed service and supports.