CA with tag line 

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

"Praise your children
and they will blossom!"

- Unknown -
In This Issue

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
Pam Mahin
Office Manager


Ty Warczinsky 
GCSAC Coordinator
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator
Heather Gardner
 CAC Coordinator
Michelle Zombeck
 CASA Coordinator 
Brenda Shafley
Event/Volunteer Coordinator

Board of Directors 

Wes Wickes
Youth for Christ
Vice President 
Jennifer Leppien
Carolyn Studley
  Community Representative

 Kelly Piotrowski
Dept. of Human Services


Steve Benn
MI State Police

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions

    Carolyn Hilley
 Gratiot Co. Comm. Mental Health

David Justin
 Alma School Board
Mike Morris
Detective, Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency

Matt Schooley
City of Alma Transportation

Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central CMU

Andrea Tabor 
Mid MI District Health Dept
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 Drug Drop Off



Gratiot Co. Sheriff

226 E. Center


open 24 hrs./day

7 days/week


Alma Police Dept.

525 E. Superior St.


8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Monday - Friday


St. Louis Police Dept.

108 W. Saginaw St.


Mon. 7 - 3 

Tues. - Fri. 8 - 4 

The sites accept

prescription pills, liquids, and patches.

Your Feedback!


"On behalf of everyone at DuHadway Dance Dimensions we would like to thank you for recognizing us with the Organization of the Year award.


We are beyond proud and so grateful to work with Child Advocacy all year round as partners helping kids in our county."



The DuHadway Family, 2015 recipient of the Child Advocate Organization of the Year Award 

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



Summer time memories are the best!


As the summer winds down, Child Advocacy is busy planning programs for the fall.  Please take a moment to read our Scheduled Classes section.  Our Nurturing  Parenting class will be starting this month and we hope you will consider joining us.  



Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our website

Upcoming Events

Back to School Event
Wednesday, August 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
St. Louis Church of Christ - 1075 W. Monroe Road (M-46)

On Wednesday, August 19, the following will be available:
* Local agencies will be present to provide information on      the services they provide.
* Greater Lansing food truck will be distributing free              commodities until 2:00 p.m. 
* Free back packs 
* Free school supplies 
* Free hair cuts
* Free vision testing.

Starting August 1, clothing donations may be dropped off at the St. Louis Church of Christ.  If you are interested in having an agency booth, please contact Stacie Smith at the Salvation Army - (989) 289-8090 or
Welcome Tess!

Our GCSAC Coordiator, Ty Warczinsky and his wife Brandy delivered their fourth child on June 26.  We would like to welcome Tess Marie to the Child Advocacy family!
New and Emerging Drug Alert!
By Morgan Roe
CMU Summer Intern

Fentanyl is the new drug of choice among heroin users. The drug is commonly added to heroin to increase its potency or Fentanyl can be used on its own but Fentanyl is 50 - 100 times more powerful than morphine.  The drug has caused hundreds of deaths among injection drug users.  Opioid overdose can stop a person's respiration, and fentanyl can have this effect very quickly.  The drug is not as main stream as a lot of others, but it has made its way to Detroit and that's a little too close to home.

In some cases, users are unknowingly taking fentanyl in what they believe to be pure heroin, but a growing number of opioid users are deliberately taking fentanyl.  Fentanyl and other opioid overdoses can be reversed by the drug naloxone if administered promptly.  

In a growing number of states, naloxone is being distributed to injection drug users and other amateur users to use in the event of overdone.

Info. obtained from

Navigating Grandparent Time

By Pam Mahin

Child Safety Seat Technician  


I have had a wonderful summer with my oldest grandchild. The parenting style that his parent's use is very different than the style that I used with my children as they were growing up.  The rules are different in each household and although he knew our house rules, he was still a bit resistant for the first couple of weeks, which led to a few tears and hurt feelings. He would tell me that he is allowed to do certain things at home that he is not allowed to do at my house.  I continue to gently remind him that "this is how we do things when at Nana and Papa's house".   He is also an excellent story teller, so a few times I called his parents to just confirm whether or not he was allowed to do something that he asked to do and I told him that he couldn't.


I am not sure it is as much of a tradition as it use to be for grandchildren to spend a few weeks with their grandparents in the summer but, whether you are the parent or the grandparent, there are a few things to remember.

While your kids are soaking up their grandparent's attention and unlimited praise ("Grandpa! Watch!"), there may be times when you're ready to pull your hair out. Navigating the fine line between helpful, generous grandparents and meddling, over-indulgent ones isn't easy. 

"Most grandparents, even if they are doing something that you find annoying, are well intentioned," says Joseph M. Cervantes, a psychologist in Orange, CA, and professor of counseling at California State University in Fullerton. "Grandparent involvement in a child's development exposes the children to wisdom, experience and trust." 

When it comes to dealing with grandparents who may be muscling in on your parenting territory, unwittingly or not, it may be a good idea to "evaluate whether this is a big battle or a small one," says Cervantes. If it's a small battle, he says, most often you'll be glad later that you let it slide. 

Establish clear boundaries and clear expectations for the time spent at the grandparent's house. If your parenting is different from theirs, acknowledge it. Talk about the strengths they bring, but be direct and specific about what you expect.


Have fun and enjoy those kiddos, after all August is Family Fun Month!

The Foster Closet

by: Michelle Zombeck

CASA Coordinator


Did you know that Gratiot County now has a Foster Closet?  What is the Foster Closet you might be asking?  The foster closet provides items to children who have been placed in the foster care system in Gratiot County.  The items are new and like new items that have been donated to the closet.  Children are often placed into a foster home with only the clothes that they are wearing. The closet can provide items like clothing, underclothing, shoes, toys, baby equipment and gear. 


The Foster Closet can help reduce financial strain for families by freeing up funds that would otherwise be used to fulfill immediate needs.  Unfortunately the State is not always able to meet the immediate needs of these children or able to meet them in full, that is where the foster closet can help.  Meeting the needs of these children allows the foster parents the ability to use the funds saved to help the children adapt to their new home life in other ways.


When speaking to Mandy Symonds one of the Foster Closet organizer's she shared that they appreciate all of the donations they receive but one area where they are currently lacking is clothing items for boys ages newborn to 2/3T.  Some other items the Foster Closet will take include diapers and formula. 


So as you begin to go through your children's closets remember we now have another option in Gratiot County where gently used or like new items can be donated. 

To learn more about the Foster Closet or how you can make a donation please contact Mandy Symonds at 989-388-2263 or 

Scheduled Classes


FREE! Nurturing Parenting Program 

for ALL parents and their school-age children (5 to 11 years old)

Starts Monday, August 24

The class will meet on the following Monday and Thursday's:

August 24, 27, 31, September 3, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28  
A light dinner is served at 5:00 p.m.
Class - 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
United Methodist Church - St. Louis   


*There is no charge for the class or the dinner!  Please join us!  

We understand that parenting is challenging for everyone, and this is an educational, informative, and fun way to learn new parenting skills. 


Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register for the class.
Protect MI Child
by Morgan Roe
CMU Summer Intern

Ruth Johnson, Michigan Secretary of State is endorsing a website to help protect Michigan children form the dangers of the internet and social media. is a new and free website where parents can enter in their child's cell phone number, email address, and instant messenger ID to prevent ads for alcohol, tobacco, online gambling, and pornography from reaching your child.  The website also offers tips for parents about the internet as well as a place where you can file a complaint against a website or advertiser.
Summer Hours
Starting the week of June 8

Monday - Thursday
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Closed Friday
It's Christmas in July here at Child Advocacy! 

We are excited to announce that the Walmart Foundation has approved a grant for $2500 and the Gratiot County Community Foundation has approved a grant for $4000 for our Shop with a Hero Christmas Outreach program.  Child Advocacy and the Michigan State Police have already started working on our 4th annual county wide event.  A heartfelt thank you to both Walmart and the Community Foundation!

We are also busy planning our 3rd annual Mother/Daughter Conference for early November.  Stay tuned for more information on that event.  We have some very exciting ideas for this year's event!

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter.

Audra Stahl
Executive Director