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
greatstartconnect.org
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 

President
Wes Wickes
Youth for Christ
  
Vice President 
Jennifer Leppien
CASA
  
Treasurer
Michael Hetzman
Community Mental
Health - Gratiot Co.
  
Secretary 
 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

Car

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
 989-463-1422
 or 800-552-4489

Permanent Prescription Drop Off

Sites

 

Alma Police Dept.

525 E. Superior St.

Mon. - Fri. 

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

 

Gratiot Co. Sheriff

226 E. Center

Ithaca

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
 
989-463-9307
 
(press 2).

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List

Greetings!  

 

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!

 

Enjoy,

Child Advocacy Staff

 

Check out our website www.linkforfamilies.org.


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 runsignup.com 

Registration forms are available at linkforfamilies.org 

 

"Every child needs a hero, 

but abused children need superheroes!"

 

All proceeds go to Child Abuse and

 Neglect programs in Gratiot County.

cac 

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 michelle@linkforfamilies.org.

RRC
greatstartconnect.org
By Pam Mahin
RRC Coordinator
 

 

greatstartCONNECT.org 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 greatstartCONNECT.org. 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.

 

greatstartCONNECT.org is free and accessible 24/7.  Other resources available at greatstartCONNECT.org 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 greatstartconnect.org 

 

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 greatstartconnect.org 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 greatstartconnect.org to register.

Great Start to Quality Orientation
Aids/Relatives
Friday, March 21
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma
Visit greatstartconnect.org 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!

 
Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
Executive Director