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

child responsibilities


"If you want children

 to keep their feet on the ground, 

put some responsibility

on their shoulders."



- Abigail Van Buren - 



In This Issue
Family Advocate
Protect Yourself Program
Quality Connections
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  


Pam Mahin
RRC Coordinator


Lisa Cannon
GSAC Coordinator
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator 

Heather Gardner
 CAC Coordinator
Brenda Shafley
Office Assistant 

Board of Directors 

Kent Schulze
Dept. of Human Services

Vice President 
Wes Wickes 
Youth for Christ

Madonna Adkins
EightCAP inc.

 Kim Vetter
MI State Police
Mt. Pleasant 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

Permanent Prescription Drop Off



Alma Police Dept.

525 E. Superior St.

Mon. - Fri. 

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Gratiot Co. Sheriff

226 E. Center


open 24 hrs./day

7 days/week


Both sites accept

prescription pills, liquids, and patches.


Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



Autumn is officially here - time for cider and donuts!


Are you familiar with the Protect Yourself Program we offer?  Would you like tips on how to communicate with your children about drugs?  Those are just two of the topics covered in this months' newsletter.



Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our website www.linkforfamilies.org.

CAC logo  

 Family Advocate  

  by Heather Gardner



The Children's Advocacy Center would like to welcome our new Family Advocate, Stacey Graham.

As the Family Advocate, Stacey will be working with families to understand the services provided by The Children's Advocacy Center, the legal processes, and to link families with services available in the community.


Stacey is a Licensed Professional Counselor with the State of Michigan. She graduated from Central Michigan University in 2004 with a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling. She has worked as a professional counselor for eight years. Her experiences include working with children, adolescents and families in Alaska, and agencies around the Central Michigan Area.  Currently, she is working as a Co-Located Outpatient Therapist for Community Mental Health of Gratiot County.


Stacey is currently working towards an endorsement as an Infant Mental Health Specialist and Trauma Focus Cognitive Behavioral Therapist.   For the past year, she has headed up a collaboration of agency personnel to lead trauma informed workshops for parents raising children that have experienced trauma.

  Protect Yourself Program

 By Richelle Davis


The weather is becoming cooler, children are back in school, and it is time to begin the Protect Yourself Program in area schools.


The Protect Yourself Program is currently being taught in first and third grades throughout Gratiot County. This is a phenomenal program designed to teach children how to recognize and respond to abduction and abusive situations.


Recent attacks and abductions of children have received nationwide media attention. It is apparent that child predators still possess a great deal of power when it comes to luring children. Through a series of five child safety lessons, we hope to put some of that power back into the hands of children. This curriculum teaches children how to recognize and respond to various dangerous, disturbing, and destructive situations.


Only through education can young people discover what dangers exist and how to react to such dangers. Each lesson is age-appropriate, recognizing that different children have different perceptions of safety and strangers. Upon completion, it is our hope that children will be equipped to face real-life situations.


Stay tuned as each month I will share more about the Protect Yourself Program and tips for parents on talking with your child about ways to protect themselves 



Submitted by Lisa Cannon



No loving relationship can exist without communication. Teens believe they have valuable things to say and, when a parent listens genuinely, it helps self-esteem and confidence. The most important thing to remember when it comes to talking about difficult subjects like drinking and drugs is that it's not a five-minute "talk" - it's about building an ongoing dialogue. As your children grow up, they will need more and more information, so start early and build on the conversation as your teen matures.


Virtually all parents in America (98 percent) say they've talked with their children about drugs; however, only 27 percent of teens (roughly one in four) say they're learning a lot at home about the risks of drugs, according to a national study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA).


There aren't enough hours in the day. Sometimes it's frustrating how few chances there are to have conversations about drugs with our children. In our busy culture, with families juggling the multiple demands of work, school, after-school activities, and religious and social commitments, it can be a challenge for parents and children to be in the same place at the same time.


Yet the better you communicate, the more at ease your teen will feel about discussing drugs and other sensitive issues with you.



  • Be absolutely clear with your kids that you don't want them using drugs. Ever. Anywhere. Don't leave room for interpretation. And talk often about the dangers and results of drug and alcohol abuse. Once or twice a year won't do it. Get more specifics on setting the rules.
  • Be a better listener. Ask questions - and encourage them. Paraphrase what your teen says to you. Ask for their input about family decisions. Showing your willingness to listen will make your teen feel more comfortable about opening up to you.
  • Give honest answers. Don't make up what you don't know; offer to find out. If asked whether you've ever taken drugs, let them know what's important: That you don't want them using drugs. Get the facts on drugs by visiting the Drug Information section.
  • Use TV reports, anti-drug commercials, or school discussions about drugs to help you introduce the subject in a natural, unforced way. Get more specifics on using teachable moments.
  • Don't react in a way that will cut off further discussion. If your teen makes statements that challenge or shock you, turn them into a calm discussion of why your teen thinks people use drugs, or whether the effect is worth the risk.
  • Role-play with your teen and practice ways to refuse drugs in different situations. Acknowledge how tough these moments can be. Get more specifics on using role-playing. 

This article is provided to you from www.theantidrug.com. If you would like more information on how to talk to your children, please visit the website or contact Lisa Cannon, Gratiot County Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at 989-462-0142 or lisa@linkforfamilies.org.

Quality Connections

By Pam Mahin


By now, you may have heard about the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System and the Self-Assessment Survey (SAS).  This rating system is scheduled to go "LIVE" for parents to view on CONNECT in December.  What does that mean?  It means that for those providers who have not completed their Self-Assessment Survey, parents will see a 1 Star rating and 0 out of 50 points scored. 


If this is not what you want, your Central Resource Center staff is here to help.  Small group sessions to explain and explore the SAS are being offered throughout the region.  In many cases, you will be on a laptop working in your own record. If you are interested in this type of hands on format, please call us 989-463-1422 to find out when the next session is scheduled.


New trainings, called Quality Connections, are also being offered to explore one or two of the SAS components at a time, what they mean, and how you would be able to score yourself on that component.  These trainings are free to providers who are ready and willing to begin working on their Self-Assessment Survey.  To find out when these Quality Connections trainings are being offered, go to CONNECT.

Scheduled Classes


Daycare Provider Trainings -


Online Training - Begins October 16

Including  Children with Special Needs

Provides 4 hours of training



Wednesday, October 17

I'm Bored! Enhancing Outdoor Play

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Veteran's Memorial Library - Mt. Pleasant

Cost $20

Refer to www.greatstartconnect.org to register. 


Monday, October 29

Mad, Sad, Glad: How Emotions Develop-Infant/Toddler Training *Tier 2 Approved*

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Alma Public Library

Cost $20

Refer to www.greatstartconnect.org to register.


Online Training - Begins October 30

Building Partnerships with Families

Provides 4 hours of Training



Thursday, November 1

Literacy in the Arts: How Singing, Dancing, and Painting Encourage Success in School

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Veteran's Memorial Library

Cost $20

Refer to www.greatstartconnect.org to register.


Great Start to Quality Orientation - Aids/Relatives 


Wednesday, October 10

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Windbrook Conference Center


No Cost


Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, October 9 & 23

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Youth for Christ - Alma

No Cost


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

Thank you for taking a few minutes to read our newsletter.  I hope you are getting to know our staff through their informative articles.  We would love to have you stop in and meet our staff face to face.  Office hours are 9:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday.  I am proud to say that our qualified employees are experts in prevention, parenting, child development, substance abuse, car seat safety, and so much more. 
Have a wonderful fall!  
Audra Stahl
Executive Director