CA with tag line 

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



The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.

-Alexandra Trenfor
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 
President & CEO 
     
Pam Mahin
Office Manager
 
Staci Bigelow
Event/Volunteer Coordinator

Ty Warczinsky 
GCSAC Program Director
 
Emily Whipple
GCSAC Coordinator

Sara Krebs 
GCSAC Prevention
 Coordinator
 
 
Alexa Morton
 GCSAC Prevention Educator
 
Morgan Rooy
CAN Program Director
 
 Richelle Davis 
CAN Prevention Educator
 
Michelle Zombeck 
 CASA Program Director    
 
Danielle Schmidtman
CASA Recruitment Coordinator
 
Heather Therrien  
CAC Program Director

Jennifer Stambaugh
CAC Victim Advocate
 
Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager

Mallory Harrier
CAC Intake Coordinator
 
 
Board of Directors  

President
Carolyn Studley
Community Represenative
   
Vice President 
Matt Schooley
Alma City Manager
 
Secretary

   
Treasurer
Sara Bonacci
Community 
Represenative

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
   
Jim Dubey
Garr Tool

Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions 

Tammy Halfmann
Mercantile Bank

David Justin
 Alma School Board
  
Jennifer Leppien
CASA

John Morey
CPA

Mike Morris
Detective/Sgt. Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
     
Alison Morrison
Dept. of Health and Human Services 
   
Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency

Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
  
Steve Vernon
 Gratiot Integrated Health Network
 
Mark Williams
Alma Public Safety Administrator 

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
Puzzles
New Children's Books
Play-dough
Games for younger children to play
Capri Sun Juice Boxes
Bottled Water

Baby Pantry
Parent's Choice™ Gentle or Enfamil Gentlease® Formula (purple can) 
Diapers- Sizes 5 & 6
Wipes 
Bottles
Burp Cloths
Boy's Clothing Sizes  3, 4, 5, &  6
Newborn Clothing


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!

The instructor was very kind and informed. Gave us a lot of insight to our children's
 behavior.  

Nurturing Parenting Program Evaluation from a parent who completed the class.

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List

Welcome back to another school year!  Child Advocacy has been gearing up for another year of community events and parenting class offerings.  Check us out on Facebook to follow an up to date schedule of activities and events hosted by Child Advocacy!

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter,
Staci Bigelow
Volunteer/Event Coordinator 
Check out our website www.linkforfamilies.org .
Upcoming Events

Chronic Pain, The Opioid "Epidemic",The CDC Guideline and New State Laws
Responsible Prescribing Conference for Health Care Professionals
Friday, September 14, 2018
12:30 - 4 p.m.
Mid-Michigan Medical Center - Gratiot
Wilcox Auditorium

Registration is available for this program at: www.midmichigan.org/responsible


Trivia Night
Saturday, November 17
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Alma Elks Lodge #1400 - Alma

Contact Staci at (989) 463-1422 for more information on this event.
September is Safe Sleep Month
Submitted by: Morgan Rooy
CAN Program Director
 
Every THREE days a Michigan baby dies when sleeping in an unsafe place. These deaths are 100% preventable, and Child Advocacy is committed to reducing this statistic. You may have seen our safe sleep materials at our information booths around the community and shared on our Facebook page, but did you know we incorporate safe sleep messaging and education into our programming?

Our Baby Basics class is a one-time, two-hour training on the prevention of shaken baby syndrome and the utilization of infant safe sleep. We address the nature of babies (their crying!), the danger of adults' force to infants, safe sleep practices, and the myths that keep babies unsafe. This class offers hands-on practice in how to handle and hold baby, how to dress in a sleep sack, and how to create a safe sleeping environment.

A variety of our parent education classes also educate on the dangers of unsafe sleeping environments. Participants learn the ABC's of safe sleep and sign a "Safe Sleep Agreement," which states their understanding of and commitment to safe sleep.

ABC's = Alone, on their Back, in a Crib.

In our Baby Pantry, we educate parents on safe sleep in a variety of ways. Expectant parents are provided handouts on safe sleep so they can prepare before baby arrives; our New Baby Bags are equipped with sleep sacks to prevent use of blankets in the crib; volunteers ask new parents about their baby's sleeping environment and offer nurturing advice in making sleep safe; we have posters on our walls that provide visuals of safe environments, and we have tags pinned to each blanket that read:

"I'm a soft, pretty blanket to admire and adore.
But I'm not for a crib; I'm placed on the floor.
Spend time with your babies on their tummies every day.
But always take them with you when you need to walk away."

-Donna Lynn Holland, 2007
 
We are determined to inform parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of infants on safe sleep environments, and debunk the common myths or misunderstandings. We know that the recommendations have changed over the years and understand that it can be confusing. If you are interested in learning more about Child Advocacy's safe sleep initiatives, or would like materials for yourself, family members, or your place of work, please let us know. We are here to help, and we can be reached at (989) 463-1422.

Back to School with 
Protect Yourself
By: Richelle Davis
CAN Prevention Educator


It's that time of year again.  Children all over the country are preparing for a brand new year of school.  We are super excited to begin the school year so we can bring the Protect Yourself Program to a whole new group of children. 
 
As students begin to settle into a routine we will begin the Protect Yourself Program in all of the first and third grade classrooms in the county.  These schools include:  Alma, Ithaca, St. Louis, Breckenridge, Ashley, Fulton, and St. Mary's School in Alma.  
 
The Protect Yourself Program consists of a series of five lessons that empower kids with the knowledge to keep themselves safe in a variety of dangerous situations.  The lessons include identifying dangerous situations, feelings and instincts, tricks strangers may use, good touch/bad touch, and who to tell if you have a problem.
 
Last year the Protect Yourself Program was brought to over 1000 students in Gratiot County.  If you have a first or third grader, be looking for us to visit your child's classroom and be ready to discuss these topics with them.
Suicide Prevention Month
Submitted by: Ty Warczinsky
GCSAC Program Director

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and before we look at some of the prevention efforts coming up, we will look at the scope of the problem locally. In Gratiot County, according to last year's MiPHY Survey, thirty-three percent of our high school students reported that they felt sad or hopeless almost every day for a period of two weeks or more consecutively. They also stopped doing some activities during the past twelve months that they once routinely participated in. Twenty-four percent of High School Students reported they seriously considered attempting suicide during the past twelve months, while nine percent reported they actually attempted suicide one or more times during the past twelve months. However, these numbers are alarming, but are not any different from what we are seeing throughout both the state and country.

The GCSAC (Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition) along with its community partners, is continuing QPR (Question Persuade and Refer) training throughout Gratiot County schools. GCSAC is collaborating with GIHN (Gratiot Integrated Health Network) and Alma College the week of September 24th for a Suicide Awareness campaign in Gratiot County. Alma College is hosting a suicide prevention speaker that week, we are having a pinwheel Garden at GIHN, and there will be a social media campaign to bring awareness. We will also be asking people to post pictures of themselves wearing yellow in hopes of shinning a spotlight on suicide awareness.

Things you can do to help: learn about the signs and clues to suicide, have resources handy such as the GIHN Crisis Line : 989-463-4971 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255, engage your place of work or local business in bringing in a QPR training. These QPR trainings are an hour long and free of charge. If you are interested in a QPR training contact Ty Warczinsky at ty@linkforfamilies.org .

Also, start conversations with your children, know what they are involved in, and how they are feeling. Never be afraid to ask for help.
Scheduled Classes
 

Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Who: Non-biological caregivers (foster, adoptive, kinship, etc.) and their children.
What:  Support group featuring special guest Dr. Stephanie Grant. Dr. Grant is the Director of Infant Mental Health and Trauma Informed Communities with Development Enhancement Behavioral Health. Her presentation will be on neurodevelopmental trauma, with a specific focus on why children with trauma histories are different and the care-giving techniques they need. She will also be providing examples of how to respond to behavior problems. This has been a requested topic for some time now, and we are excited to have her with us!
Where: East Superior Christian Church (605 E. Superior St. Alma, MI)
When: Tuesday, September 11th 6:00-8:00 p.m. (the second Tuesday of every month)
Why: Because parenting is one of the most difficult jobs, and having support from others is crucial. Did we mention free childcare and snacks?!

Please call our office t o RS VP at (989)4 63-1422 or email m organ@linkforfamilies.org.
 
Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, September 10
1:00 p.m.
YFC - Alma

Please call Emily at 989-463-1422 with any questions
 
The Baby Pantry
Every Wednesday
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wilcox Non-Profit Building - Alma

For more information about the Baby Pantry please contact Morgan Rooy at (989)463-1422.

Darkness to Light Training
Prevention training that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. 
Monday, September 24
12:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Alma Public Library - Art & Carra Smith Room

Registration is required, a $5 fee is charged per person to cover the partial cost of workbooks. Register by contacting Morgan Rooy at (989)463-1422 or Morgan@linkforfamilies.org.
Welcome back to school!

We are excited for another school year and more opportunities to bring programs, events, and informational sessions to the community.  We hope you will join us throughout the year.

This month we are saying goodbye to two of our employees, Mallory Harrier and Danielle Schmidtman.  Both Mallory and Danielle are moving out of the area and we wish them the best of luck on their new adventures!
 
Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
President & CEO