Youth Villages, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children and their families live successfully, this evening honored State Rep. Sean Garballey, D-Arlington, for his work to benefit the young people and families of Massachusetts.

Garballey received the Youth Villages Champion Award during the annual meeting of Youth Villages Massachusetts held at the Boston Foundation.

“Representative Garballey has been true a champion for Youth Villages, for our Germaine Lawrence campus in Arlington, and for children and families across the commonwealth by advocating for policies and services that strengthen families and help them live together successfully,” Matt Stone, executive director of Youth Villages Massachusetts, said

“I am honored and humbled to receive the Youth Villages Champion Award,” Garballey said,

“Issues surrounding children and families in the foster care system are at the forefront of my agenda. While much work remains to be done, programs and services offered by organizations like Youth Villages continually provide a vital safety net to some of our most vulnerable citizens, and I value this recognition immensely.”

Garballey is a member of the Foster Care Coalition, and took a lead in the passage of the 2009 omnibus bill, An Act Protecting Children in the Care of the Commonwealth. More recently, he filed an amendment to the fiscal 2016 House budget to provide an additional $7 million for intensive in-home services.

“This amendment gave a platform for advocates to speak to the importance of these services and the Senate did include a $1 million increase in funding for Support and Stabilization services,” Stone said.

Garballey is the vice chair for the Joint Committee on Higher Education and serves on the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, the Joint Committee on Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, and the House Committee on Technology and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Also during the meeting, Youth Villages Massachusetts honored staff members and outgoing members of its board of directors.

Peter Flister, of Gloucester, who teaches visual arts, received the Germaine Lawrence Commitment to Excellence Award in recognition of his exceptional work with students. Christine Platzek, of Somerville, a senior family intervention specialist, received the Commitment to Excellence Award, which honors an employee in Youth Villages Massachusetts’ community-based services.

Youth Villages Massachusetts recognized its outgoing board members:

  • Kathy Harris, senior vice president of human resources, Comverse, Inc.
  • Lisa Lebovitz of Weston
  • Richard Talkov, director of tax accounting, Goulston & Storrs
  • Linda Whitlock, principal, The Whitlock Group

In Massachusetts, Youth Villages helps children and their families from offices in Woburn, Worcester, Plymouth, Lawrence and West Springfield. The organization offers intensive in-home services, the YVLifeSet program which helps young people who age out of foster care become successful independent adults and residential services on the Germaine Lawrence campus in Arlington. Youth Villages produces lasting success for children, and families through its Evidentiary Family Restoration (EFR) approach, involving intensive work with the child and family, as well as a focus on measuring outcomes, keeping children in the community whenever safely possible and providing accountability to families and funders.

Youth Villages has been recognized by Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. For more information about Youth Villages, visit