CA with tag line 

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

"Whatever they grow up to be,
they are still our children, 
and the one most important of all things 
we can give to them is unconditional love.
Not a love that depends on anything at all
except that they are our children."
                          -  Rosaleen Dickson -
In This Issue
Tobacco Free
Upcoming Events
1st Year Anniversary
It's Not a Problem Where I Live
Scheduled Classes
Support Group Guest Speaker

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


Ty Warczinsky 
GCSAC Coordinator
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator
Heather Gardner
 CAC Coordinator
Michelle Zombeck
 CASA Coordinator 
Brenda Shafley
Office Assistant 

Board of Directors 

Wes Wickes
Youth for Christ
Vice President 
Jennifer Leppien
Michael Hetzman
Community Mental
Health - Gratiot Co.
 Kelly Piotrowski
Dept. of Human Services

Lori Apple
Comm. Mental Health - Isabella Co.
 Wendy Currie
Mid Michigan Dist. Health Dept. 
Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
Toni Davis
Women's Aid Service
Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions

Donalynn Ingersoll
Principal, Luce Rd. Elementary  
David Justin
 Alma School Board
Mike Morris
Detective, Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central CMU
 Carolyn Studley
Retired - Alma Public Schools
Kim Vetter
MI State Police
Joe Yourchock
Community Representative


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.


Lung Clinic

Lung cancer is the leading cause of deaths from cancer for both men and women. Tobacco use causes 87 percent of all deaths from lung cancer. Mid-Michigan Cancer Center is offering smoking cessation education.

If you are interested in learning more about the Lung Clinic, a free telephone screening is available by calling
(press 2).

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



March is Parenting Awareness Month!


Gaining knowledge and information about raising children is the key to success.  Please consider attending a parenting class or a Talk Early Talk Often workshop.  Making time to get educated is time well spent!



Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our website

Tobacco Free

by Ty Warczinsky

GCSAC Coordinator 


I am pleased to inform the community that in efforts to keep cigarettes away from our youth here in Gratiot County, the coalition has provided each vendor with an educational packet on policies regarding tobacco sales, tips on how to train employees, and a fact sheet on the potential penalty cost of selling to minors.   For our future generations, for a healthier generation today, we all need to take steps in protecting our youth. 


On the national stage, CVS has ended its sale of tobacco products.  According to CNN, Larry J. Merlo the president and CEO of CVS Caremark said, "Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health." This could not have been an easy decision for CVS, as it will be enduring an annual profit decrease of $2 billion in tobacco sales.  That same CNN report says, "It's no secret that tobacco causes health problems. Cancer, stroke, heart disease and lung diseases are among the results of smoking, according to the CDC. More than 5 million deaths per year are caused by tobacco use. Smokers also tend to die 10 years before nonsmokers, according to the CDC." I will personally choose to patronize CVS stores when I have the chance to do so in support of their recent decision.  Isn't it refreshing to see a big business sacrificing monetary gain for moral principle?


For the full article click here

Upcoming Events


Child Advocacy Annual Banquet

Thursday, April 10

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma

Lunch Tickets $12

Tickets may be purchased in advance by contacting

Child Advocacy (989) 463-1422


Alma High School Alumni Basketball Game

Friday, April 11

7:00 p.m.

Alma High School

Tickets are $5.00 at the door

Event is sponsored by the Donald L. Pavik Middle School Student Council and all proceeds go to Child Abuse and Neglect programs in Gratiot County.


Child Advocacy Superhero 5K

Saturday, May 10

9:00 a.m.

Alma Armory - 710 N. State

Online registration at 

Registration forms are available at 


"Every child needs a hero, 

but abused children need superheroes!"


All proceeds go to Child Abuse and

 Neglect programs in Gratiot County.


1st Year Anniversary!

By: Heather Gardner

CAC Coordinator 



The Children's Advocacy of Gratiot County has been open for a full year now and what a busy year it has been!  During this first year we have accomplished a great many things.  A large number of child friendly, legally sound forensic interviews were conducted with children.  We provided family advocacy which included working with the child's family to provide them with support and resources they may have been in need of.  Our families also received victim advocacy to help them navigate through the investigation and prosecution of their cases.  Many of our children have received mental health referrals to quality trauma-informed therapists.  We have also provided medical refers for children who were in need of specialized medical examinations.  Lastly, we applied for and received accreditation through The National Children's Alliance. 


This is just a brief snapshot of what The Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County accomplished in its first year.  We look forward to the goals we have in place for 2014, which include growing the quality services that we are able to provide the children and families we work with every day. Thank you for being part of our first year!



It's Not a Problem 

Where I Live

Submitted By Michelle Zombeck

CASA Coordinator





As of the 2010 Census,  Gratiot County has a population of 8,835 people under the age of 18.  In the 2012 fiscal year of the Gratiot County Department of Human Services, 707 complaints of abuse and neglect were registered and 361 of those complaints were assigned and 50 were transferred to another entity such as the police department. 


Gratiot County has 54 children in foster care and on average those children will spend at least 14 months in care and can potentially be moved multiple times.  Out of those 54 children, 45 of them are under the age of 12.


The numbers that have been provided represent what has been reported.  The question is how much goes unreported?


Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Gratiot County want to make sure that each of those children have a voice.  Please contact Michelle Zombeck to find out how you can help ensure that every child in foster care has a voice -

(989) 463-1422 or

By Pam Mahin
RRC Coordinator is the best tool for families in Michigan looking for child care or preschool. 


Every licensed and registered program and provider, including Head Start and Great Start Readiness Programs, is listed in an easy-to-use search engine. Families can search by Zip code, hours of operation or something even more specific. For example, if a child has a food allergy or special need, families can search using those that detail to find a program that meets their needs.  


The only place families can see the Great Start to Quality star rating is on The star ratings show how programs and providers scored on a quality rating scale. This rating scale was designed by experts and parents to help families find the highest quality setting to support their child for success in school and life. is free and accessible 24/7.  Other resources available at include a Child Care Checklist in the Parent Toolkit that is easily printed or viewed on any device, and licensing reports that show inspections, violations and corrections.

Scheduled Classes


Childcare Provider Trainings

(parents are welcome to attend)


STARS SAS (Self Assessment Survey) Workshops

Tuesday, March 4
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Chippewa River District Library - Mt. Pleasant
Wednesday, March 12
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Alma Public Library - Alma

Bring your laptop (if available) and documents that need uploaded. Register at 


Science is Everywhere

Saturday, March 15

10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Veteran's Memorial Library - Mt. Pleasant

Fee $25

3 Hours of credit

Visit to register.


Conscious Discipline

Saturday, March 22 AND Saturday, April 12

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Winding Brook Conference Center - Shepherd
6 hours of credit - MUST ATTEND BOTH CLASSES
Visit to register.

Great Start to Quality Orientation
Friday, March 21
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma
Visit to register


Other Trainings/Groups 


Nurturing Parenting Program

For parents and their school age children (5-11 years)

Starts Thursday, March 13
Class meets for 10 weeks
5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
United Methodist Church - St. Louis
No Cost
Call (989) 463-1422 to register.

Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, March 11

6:00 p.m.

Youth for Christ - Alma 


Talk Early and Talk Often

Nationally recognized parent workshop aimed at helping parents of middle and high school youth talk with their children about their sexuality; how to develop respectful relationships and make informed choices.

Tuesday, March 18

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Alma Youth for Christ

Dinner will be provided and child care is available.  Register by calling (800) 999-3199.


Wednesday, March 19

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Ithaca High School

Dinner will be provided and child care is available.  Register by calling (800) 999-3199.


Please call our office with questions about any of the above classes/workshops at (989) 463-1422.

 Foster/Adoptive/Relative Caregiver 
Support Group
By Ronda Sorensen
Parent Educator

This week, as I heard about another young child abducted by a stranger later to be found with the worst of outcomes, my belief was strengthened in the need for all children and their families here in Gratiot County to have the training and knowledge they need to prevent such a tragedy here.
Fortunately,  we have the Protect Yourself program presented in all elementary schools to begin that education.  On March 11th,  Richelle Davis will be the guest speaker at the Foster/adoptive/Relative caregiver support group's monthly meeting.  Richelle is the teacher of the Protect Yourself program and she will be speaking to parents about how to empower their own children for safety.  I urge all foster, adoptive, and relative caregivers to attend this meetings, even if you have not attended in the past.  Child care will be provided.  Our support group meets at 6:00 at the Youth For Christ building.   Call Child Advocacy at 
463-1422 with questions or to let me know if you need child care.
Wow!!!  There is a lot going on this Spring at Child Advocacy!  I encourage you to attend the Talk Early Talk Often event on either March 18th in Alma or March 19th in Ithaca.  This event is open to all parents of middle or high school students.  This is a nationally recognized parent workshop aimed at assisting parents on how to talk to their children about sexuality, developing respectful relationships, and making informed choices.  Dinner will be provided and the event is FREE!!  Call (800)999-3199 to register today.  Space is limited.

Calling all Superheroes!  Register today for our Superhero 5K event!!  We have added a new twist to our standard 5K event and hope that the children will enjoy seeing everyone in their superhero gear. Don't have any superhero gear?  Never fear, we will have masks and capes available at the event. 
See you in the Spring!

Audra Stahl
Executive Director