CA with tag line 

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

 "All children deserve great childhoods because our children are our future ."

- Prevent Child Abuse America
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 Rayburn
GCSAC Coordinator

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

Jennifer Stambaugh
CAC Victim Advocate
Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager

Nikky Holton
CAC Intake Coordinator
Board of Directors  

Carolyn Studley
Vice President 
Jennifer Leppien
Community Representative

Sara Bonacci

Garth Anderson
Commercial Bank

Brett Baublitz
Transportation Director/City of Alma

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
Jim Dubey
Garr Tool 

Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimentions

Tammy Halfmann
Mercantile Bank

David Justin
 Alma School Board
John Morey

Mike Morris
Gratiot County Sheriff
Alison Morrison
Dept. of Health and Human Services 
Jennifer Siefker
Tri-Lakes Petroleum

Michelle Stillwagon
Gratiot Integrated Health Network

Kevin Sweeney
Michigan State Police

Katie Tobias
Katie Tobias State Farm

Annette Weller-Collison
Kahn Consulting, INC.
Mark Williams
Alma Public Safety Administrator 


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   Please see new car seat  guidelines on our website.
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
Breckenridge Police Dept.
 104 E. Saginaw St.
8:00 a.m.- 5:00  p.m.
Monday - Friday
St. Louis Police Dept.
300 N. Mill St.
Mon. 7 - 3 
Tues. - Fri. 8 - 4 
These sites accept
prescription pills and patches.

Quick Links

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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Please like us on Facebook, Child Advocacy- Gratiot County, to receive fun activities you can do at home to show your support throughout the month of April!

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

Every Monday in April
Blue Mondays
Wear blue to show your support for child abuse and neglect
prevention. Send us your photos and we'll feature you on our  Facebook page!
Handle With Care
Submitted by: Heather Therrien
CAC Program Director

When you see the words crime scene, does that prompt an image in your head? What about house fire, traffic accident, or domestic dispute? What do you imagine that looks like? When law enforcement arrives on a scene, they see a lot; people who are sad, stunned, angry, or hurt. They see children too. In these types of traumatic scenarios, children can often appear oblivious to or unaffected by what is happening around them - playing with siblings while parents are questioned, laughing and making jokes with paramedics, or sitting silently while observing all that is happening around them.
First responders in Gratiot County are certainly mindful when children are present and do their best to comfort children while they are on scene. But how do we help a child exposed to a traumatic event after first responders leave?  How can we help ensure children have additional support in the days and weeks following a traumatic event, particularly in the classroom where they spend much of their time? Child Advocacy along with the Gratiot-Isabella RESD joined forces with Gratiot County schools and area law enforcement agencies 1 to consider these questions. In response, Handle With Care-Gratiot County was launched in March of this year.
Research shows that trauma can undermine children's ability to learn, form relationships, and function appropriately in the classroom. Trauma exposure can often cause abrupt changes in a child's behavior or impact their performance in school. Handle With Care programs promote partnerships to ensure that children exposed to trauma in their home, school, or community receive appropriate supports to help them achieve academically at their highest levels despite whatever traumatic circumstances they may have endured. 
The program is straightforward. If law enforcement is dispatched to a location of a potentially traumatic event 2 and children are present, they issue a notice that is channeled directly to the school the child attends. The notice identifies the child's name and the simple phrase " Handle with Care." This alerts relevant school personnel to monitor the child, to make reasonable accommodations for that child if necessary, and to alert parents or caregivers if further support or services may be helpful.
Handle With Care programs empower communities to respond to children exposed to trauma and strengthen efforts to create environments where children feel safe and supported. If you have any questions about Handle With Care, please contact Child Advocacy at 989-463-1422. 

1 Gratiot County Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police-Lakeview Post, and Alma, Breckenridge, and St. Louis Police Departments.
2 Traumatic events may include but are not limited to a home/structure fire, domestic dispute/violence, burglary/robbery, traffic accident, child abuse/neglect, sexual abuse/assault, death of a family member, drug raid/overdose, shooting or other violent crime, arrest of a household member, child removal, family member taken away by ambulance, or suicide/attempted suicide.
Be The Positive
Submitted by: Ty Warczinsky
GCSAC Program Director

My name is Ty Warczinsky, and I am the Substance Abuse Coalition Program Director for our county. When I write an article for Child Advocacy's Newsletter, I usually try to educate Gratiot County on a substance, but somehow that doesn't seem pressing in these unprecedented times.  In Gratiot County, as well as so many other places around our country, we see restaurants, bars, churches, community groups, and athletics all shutting down.  These are times unlike anything in our recent past, therefore I am going to write something unlike anything I have written before.

I truly believe that in difficult times,  we fin d out who we are as people.  S ocial media is often  rightfully criticized, but I would like to share the way I have been experiencing it  through a d ifferent lens. I have been  thankful for social media these past few days. When I turn on my TV and watch the  news,  I see  newscasters and information driving  fear  and panic into  homes;  I see worst-case scenarios lived out and even dramatized; I witness  people  hoarding and fighting over supplies, and I am discouraged at the state of humanity. 

On the contrary, w hen  I open my personal social media  account  I see   posts  from people offering to help others with childcare .  I see buses li ned up to take food to families. I see volunteers  spend ing  time and energy prepari ng a baby pantry.  I see people sacrificing  freedoms for the  overall health of our community, and  I see people co ming together to share  resources with one another. I am grat eful for the community in which I live, and I am proud that those to whom I am connected are making  a positive impact on each other in difficult times, and  when our face is held to the fire, I am inspired by those who are rising up and affecting one another in a positive way.

I hope this newsletter finds you well.  This has certainly been a historic time in our lives and the lives of our children.  I'm almost at a loss for words on what to say.  

What I would like to tell you is that although we aren't physically in the office we are always here to support you.  Call us, email, or send a FB message, and we will respond and try to help you the best we can.  Our staff is working at home trying to come up with ways to meet your needs during this crisis, plan for future programs and activities, and enhance current services.  This is unchartered territory for all of us, but we will continue moving forward offering you the highest quality services and programs.

We miss all of you!   When this is over we hope to see you at one of our events, a lunch and learn, or just to drop by the office and say Hi.

Audra Stahl
President & CEO