525 N. State Street  Suite 4 Alma, MI 48801 
(989) 463-1422

 parent child playing




"The best inheritance a parent can give to his children

is a few minutes of their 

time each day."


                 - M. Grundler -  




In This Issue
The Power of One
TQRIS for Licensed Daycare Providers
GCSAC Update
Why 21?
Protect Yourself Program
Scheduled Classes


About Us 


 Child Advocacy is a non-profit agency with a mission to improve the welfare of children and their families through education, training, and support for the prevention of substance abuse and child abuse and neglect.

 Our Staff
Audra Stahl -
Executive Director

Ronda Sorensen -
 Parent Educator  

Brenda Shafley-
Office Assistant 
Pam Mahin -
RRC Coordinator
Lisa Cannon- 
GSAC Coordinator
 Kris Olejniczak -
CAN Coordinator 

Board of Directors 

President -
Kent Schulze
Dept. of Human Services

Vice President -
Wes Wickes 
Youth for Christ

Treasurer -
Madonna Adkins
EightCAP inc.

Secretary -
 Kim Vetter
MI State Police
Ithaca Post

Lori Apple
Comm. Mental Health - Isabella Co.

Kristin Bakker
Prosecuting Attorney's Office
 Wendy Currie
Mid Michigan Dist. Health Dept.
Toni Davis
Women's Aid Service
Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions

 Mike Hetzman
 Comm. Mental Health - Gratiot Co.
 Mary Hunt
Retired-EightCAP inc.

David Justin
 Alma School Board

Dan Buschle
Community Member
 Carolyn Studley
Retired Alma Public Schools

 Jennifer Leppien
CASA Volunteer 


Seat Safety


Did you know that at Child Advocacy we can install and provide a safety inspection for your child safety seat?  Child Advocacy has a nationally certified safety seat technician available!
To make an appointment call
 or 800-552-4489

Good Company -

Adult Respite Care

Respite care

 is designed to be a place a person will enjoy visiting while their spouse or other caregiver takes a break and tends to other needs.


11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Mon., Wed., Fri.


Contact First Presbyterian Church - Alma at (989) 463-2940


Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



This month our newsletter has many informative articles.  Learn more about our Protect Yourself Program, the TQRIS rating system for licensed daycare providers, or why 21 is the legal drinking age.


If you are in need of a parenting class or know someone who could benefit from a class, call our office.  We are always offering classes to meet the needs of Gratiot County. 



The Staff at Child Advocacy

The Power of One

Each one of us has the power

to change the life of a child.


What you can do:

Anything you do to support children and parents can help reduce the stress that often leads to abuse and neglect.


Be a nurturing parent - Children need to know that they are special, loved and capable.


Help yourself - When the big and little problems of your everyday life pile up to the point you feel overwhelmed and out of control--take time out.  Don't tke it out on your child.


If your baby cries - It can be frustrating to hear your baby cry.  Learn what to do if your baby won't stop crying.  Never shake a baby - shaking a child may result in severe injury or death.


Get to know your neighbors - Problems seem less overwhelming when support is nearby.


Help a friend, neighbor, or relative - Offer to babysit, help with chores and errands, or suggest resources in the community that can help.  Offer to babysit, so the

parent(s) can rest or spend time together.


Be an active community member - Lend a hand at local schools, community or faith-based organizations, children's hospitals, social service agencies, or other places where families and children are supported.


Give your used clothing, furniture, and toys for use by another family - This can help relieve the stress of financial burdens that parents sometimes take out on their children.


Learn how to recognize and report signs of child abuse and neglect - Reporting your concerns may protect a child and get help for a family who needs it.

daylight saving
November 6
Move your clocks back one hour. 

Announcing the Tiered Quality Rating Improvement System (TQRIS)

for Licensed Daycare Providers


The Tiered Quality Rating Improvement System (TQRIS) was launched in October 2011.  TQRIS is the direction that Michigan has chosen to align the state with quality early learning and care practices.  The self-assessment survey will be available to providers in November.


The Regional Resource Centers will be dedicated to assisting providers to move along the TQRIS levels.  This is an exciting opportunity for Michigan to ensure quality of care and giving our children a Great Start!


The TQRIS is an important step and a benefit for Michigan and for you in your participation in the early learning and care profession.  More information on TQRIS will be forthcoming in the next several months.  In the meantime, inquiries may be made to tgris-info@ecic4kids.org.

GCSAC Update

 Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition


 What is MiPHY?


The coalition is always striving to collect and utilize data to bring programs to community members and schools in our county.  One of the coalitions goals for the 2011-2012 fiscal year is to advocate for all of the schools in Gratiot County to participate in this year's survey.  The MiPHY (Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth) survey is an online student survey given to students in grades 7, 9, 11.  The comprehensive survey measures all key health behaviors and risk and protective factors.


One of the benefits of the survey is school districts have access to the survey results within 2 - 4 business days after closing out their survey site.  Schools can utilize the survey for grant applications, school improvement process, and school health initiatives.


A benefit for the coalition is to have the necessary data to collaborate and implement "best practice" programs for schools within our county.  Currently, the coalition has one school district that has completed the survey with other schools committed to completing the survey during this school year.  

The coalition is looking forward to our continued collaboration with the school districts in our county.  If you have any questions regarding the MiPHY survey, please feel free to contact Lisa Cannon at (989) 462-0142 or by email lisa@linkforfamilies.org. 

Parents that host 


Why 21?


An adolescent may become addicted to alcohol in as little as 6 to 18 months.  The adolescent's central nervous system and brain are not fully developed and are especially sensitive to alcohol and drugs--addiction happens much faster.


The risk for alcohol dependency decreases by 14% with each year drinking is delayed after the age of 15.  Research shows that the longer you delay the onset of alcohol use with a young person, the less likely they are to experience problems with use later in life.


Youth who are drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become dependent than those who wait until age 21.


Youth who drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine and 7.5 times more likely to use any illicit drug than young people that never drink alcohol.


The U.S. Surgeon General reports that life expectancy has improved in the U.S. over the past 75 years for every age group except one.  The death rate for 15 - 24 year olds is higher today than it was 20 years ago.  The leading cause of death is drunk and drugged driving.


In 2008, 56.2% of current underage drinkers (age 12-20) reported that their last use of alcohol occurred in someone else's home; 29.6% reported it occurred in their own home.


2.6 million teenagers don't know that a person can die from an alcohol overdose.

 Protect Yourself Program


The Protect Yourself Program is a series of safety lessons taught to elementary age children in Gratiot County.  The safety lessons teach the children how to recognize and respond to abduction and abusive situations.


Over 675 area youth receive this program each year.  The safety lessons include topics like personal safety, feelings/instincts, abduction prevention, physical and sexual abuse prevention, and identifying support and telling someone. 

Child Advocacy has been teaching this program for approximately six years in the county.

Scheduled Classes


FREE Parenting Classes 


Classes for parents of children 0 to 6 years old  

12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. 

Wilcox Non-Profit Building

525 N. State Street, Alma. 


Topics for November are as follows:

   November 2 - topic to be determined

   November 16 - topic to be determined


Nurturing Parenting Class for parents of children

0-6 years old.

Class starts November 1 for six classes

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Wilcox Non-Profit Building

Instructor - Jane Haycook


Child Care Administration Class -

We offer a Child Care Administration class that offers the participant 30 total hours if both part 1 and part 2 are completed.  This correspondence course is completed through email or postal mail.  This training offers the participant 3.0 CEU's and is accepted by child care licensing.  The topics covered are business basics, hiring & retaining staff, recruitment of families, observing & recording, etc.  This course is for current or prospective program directors in licensed facilities.  Group child care providers have taken this course and benefited from it as well.  The cost of this training is $85 per part plus an additional $8 per part for the CEU's that are associated with it. 


We are working on developing more trainings to be offered in the very near future.  Please watch your email for notificaton of when these will be available.


Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register or to get more information.

Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at Child Advocacy!
Audra Stahl
Executive Director