CA with tag line 

 525 N. State Street  Suite 4 Alma, MI 48801 
(989) 463-1422
 
CHILDREN CANNOT STOP CHILD ABUSE.
 
ADULTS CAN...          
 
 

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
 
Michelle Zombeck 
 CASA Coordinator
 
Heather Gardner  
 CAC Coordinator 

Heather Therrien  
CAC Case Coordinator
 
Staci Bigelow
Event/Volunteer Coordinator
 
 

Board of Directors 

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

Secretary 
 Kelly Piotrowski
Dept. of Human Services
  
Steve Benn
Detective/Sgt.
MI State Police


Sara Bonacci
Sara Bonacci Photography

Wendy Currie 
Mid MI District Health Dept

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

Tammy Halfmann
Mercantile Bank

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
 
Steve Vernon
 Gratiot Co. Comm. Mental Health 

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 Drug Drop Off
Site
 
Gratiot Co. Sheriff
226 E. Center
Ithaca
open 24 hrs./day
7 days/week
  
Alma Police Dept.
525 E. Superior St.
 Hours 
8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
 
Breckenridge Police Dept.
 104 E. Saginaw St.
Hours
8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
 
St. Louis Police Dept.
108 W. Saginaw St.
Hours
Mon. 7 - 3 
Tues. - Fri. 8 - 4 
 
These sites accept
prescription pills and patches.
Program Needs

Gas Cards 
to help cover the cost for medical travel to Grand Rapids or help with transportation of foster children.

Gift Cards to Walmart and Meijer to purchase the specific needs of a child. 
 
Drawing Paper

Coloring Books and Crayons

Art Supplies

Play-dough

Games for younger children to play

Capri Sun Juice Box's

Bottled Water


Community donations help the quality of our programs and are greatly appreciated. Donations can be made directly at Child Advocacy or by contacting our office. (989) 463-1422

Your Feedback!

"Since students participated in Protect Yourself there is more awareness.  Mrs. Davis did an outstanding job presenting to the students!"
3rd Grade Teacher at Fulton Elementary School 

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List
 

Happy Spring! 

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month! We are offering our ACT Raising Safe Kids Program and encourage you to attend. Please take a moment to review our scheduled classes section for more information.   
 
Also this month is our Alma vs. Ithaca Alumni Basketball game on April 8 and the early registration deadline for our Superhero 5K. Come join the fun and help support child abuse and neglect prevention!!

 
Enjoy,
Child Advocacy Staff
Check out our website www.linkforfamilies.org.
Upcoming Events 


Charity Basketball Game
Alma High School Alumni vs. Ithaca High School Alumni
Friday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Alma High School Gymnasium

Join us for a night of fun! Local celebrity players!

Alumni Pom-Pon Routine! DuHadway Dance Dimensions Performance! Half-time entertainment! Children's games!

Tickets $5 available at the door
T-shirts $10 

Proceeds to benefit Child Abuse and Neglect programs
of Gratiot County.


Mom to Mom Sale
Saturday, April 16, 2016
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Donald L. Pavlik Middle School & Central Michigan Youth for Christ- Alma

$2 general admission gets you into both locations!
Mom to Mom is a huge sale of kid's items (toys, clothes, etc.) Anyone is welcome to shop! 

Contact Melisa Peak for booth information or any questions at (989) 463- 4452 or email: mom2mom.yfc@gmail.com


Child Advocacy Superhero 5K
Run/Walk/Fly
Saturday, May 7 at 9:00 a.m.
Alma Armory, 710 N. State St.
Preregistration ends April 29

Please mark your calendar for the 9th annual 5K race!
Superhero costumes are encouraged but are not required!
Our race will be using Chip Timing, which is NEW this year!

Online registration is now available at runsignup.com 


Child Advocacy Banquet
Wednesday, May 18 
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma

Join us as we celebrate those who advocate and care for children and for those who strive to improve the welfare of children and their families! 

Please call the Child Advocacy office at (989) 463-1422 to purchase tickets in advance.
                        
Above the Influence  
By: Ty Warczinsky
GCSAC Coordinator

I am pleased to tell you how proud I am of our local high school students. Over the past month Ashley, Alma, Ithaca, and Fulton Above the Influence students have held an Above the Influence night at their high school basketball games. The students passed out flyers, created posters, spoke at and participated in halftime events at their respective schools

The students were engaged, took initiative, and put themselves out there to make a difference in the lives of their peers. It's sometimes disheartening to look at upcoming generations and the obstacles and deficits they face, and one can get discouraged at the state of our future. 

However, on nights like those, when I see youth rise to the occasion and join together for an influential and important cause, my hope for our future is renewed.


Ending Child Abuse May Begin with You
By: Heather Therrien
CAC Case Coordinator
 
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Nationally, over 300,000 children visited Children's Advocacy Centers last year. Here at the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County, 112 interviews were conducted with children where physical or sexual abuse was reported - a number that has risen every year since our CAC opened in 2013.  

We know that for every child who tells someone they are being abused, there are many, many more who never say a word. You can play a critical role in helping those who remain silent by learning to identify possible signs of child abuse and by reporting suspected abuse.

The following list is not all-inclusive but offers a snapshot of changes and behaviors that may indicate a child is being abused:
You may be seeing signs of abuse if a child
  • has unexplained injuries;
  • appears scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive;
  • has behaviors that have reemerged from an earlier age (thumb sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers);
  • fears going home or going places with certain people;
  • changes eating or sleeping patterns (gains or loses weight, appears over-tired);
  • misses school or activities excessively;
  • appears uncared for (consistently dirty, lacking appropriate clothing for weather);
  • exhibits overly sexualized behavior or uses explicit sexual language; or
  • engages in high-risk behavior (drug or alcohol use).*
Report suspicions to the Child Abuse Hotline (855) 444-3911.

*Signs of Child Abuse; Michigan Chapter of the National Children's Alliance
2015 Michigan Child Abuse Statistics
Statistics from the Children's Protective Services 2015 Trends Report Summary

There was an increase of the complaints that were investigated: 2001, 70,784; 2009, 71,780; 2010, 78,893; 2011, 83,627; 2012, 91,159; 2013, 87,980; 2014, 80,117; 2015, 92,729.

In 2015, 26% of investigations resulted in evidence of abuse or neglect.

Of the 92,729 confirmed investigations in 2015, a total of 23,813 complaints were confirmed representing 34,697 identified victims.

39% of victims were under the age of four.

In approximately 83.5 percent of all cases, the perpetrator is the parent (biological, adoptive, putative or step-parent).

In a study by Caldwell & Noor (2005), costs of child abuse in Michigan were estimated at $1,827,694,855.

The costs of prevention are a fraction of the costs of abuse. Cost savings ranged from 96% to 98% depending on the prevention model tested.
Scheduled Classes
 
Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Tuesday, April 12
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 
Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma

Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register for the class.

ACT Raising Safe Kids Program
for parents of children 0-8 years old
April 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Wilcox Non-Profit Center- Alma

Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register for the class.
Happy Spring!

We hope you will join us this month for our Charity Alumni Basketball Game!  It's a really great community event with fun for the whole family. We will have some wonderful surprises for you this year, along with a great night of basketball. 

You may notice on the left hand side of the newsletter we have a new section titled "Program Needs". We receive many calls from community members asking how they can help our agency. We have decided to keep a "needs list" of items that we can use up to date in this newsletter. When people think of making a donation to an agency they automatically think they have to write a sizable check.  Every donation large or small is critical in keeping our agency up and running in Gratiot County. So, the next time you are at the store and you have an extra $5 or $10 think of us and our list of needs. We truly appreciate anything you can donate!

Have a great Spring!

Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
Executive Director