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.
President & CEO
GCSAC Program Director
GCSAC Prevention Educator
CAN Program Director
CAN Prevention Educator
CAN Parenting Coach
CASA Program Director
CASA Recruitment Coordinator
CAC Program Director
CAC Victim Advocate
CAC Case Manager
CAC Intake Coordinator
Board of Directors
Gratiot Integrated Health Network
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency
Transportation Director/City of Alma
Kahn Consulting, INC.
Prosecuting Attorney's Office
DuHadway Dance Dimensions
Alma School Board
Gratiot County Undersheriff
Dept. of Health and Human Services
Alma Public Safety Administrator
Michigan State Police
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
or 800-552-4489 Please see new carseat guidelines on our website.
Permanent Prescription Drug Drop Off
Gratiot Co. Sheriff
226 E. Center
open 24 hrs./day
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
Monday - Friday
St. Louis Police Dept.
300 N. Mill St.
Mon. 7 - 3
Tues. - Fri. 8 - 4
These sites accept
prescription pills and patches.
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.
New Children's Books
Games for younger children to play
Capri Sun Juice Boxes
Size 5, 6, & 7 Diapers
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
"My class learned a lot and they now feel empowered. By far one of the best presenters we have come into our schools."
Elementary teacher, talking about the Protect Yourself Program
Did you know Child Advocacy hosts a Lunch and Learn the first Thursday of every month on a variety of topics? This month we will have a special guest, Dr. Brandi Stupica, teaching about Attachment Theory. Full details can be found below.
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter,
Child Advocacy Banquet
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!
Wednesday, May 22
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma
Please call the Child Advocacy office at (989) 463-1422 to purchase tickets in advance.
The Threshold of Making
Submitted by: Michelle Zombeck
CASA Program Director
Marty Cauley said, "How many times in our lives do we stand at the threshold of making a difference? We evaluate the options and decide whether we want to get involved or just turn a blind eye and head home. Daily, it seems, we face numerous chances to make somebody's life a little easier, even if it means ours may be a little more difficult.
CASA of Gratiot County has three people that decided to cross that threshold and get involved. Please meet our newest CASA volunteer advocates Sarah Swisher, Heather Ballien, and Veronica Riess-Dawe.
Sarah Swisher was born and raised in Gratiot County. She is a graduate from Alma College with a communication and customer service background. Sarah currently works at Isabella Bank and volunteers as a coach for Special Olympics. Sarah genuinely lights up when she talks about her precious one year old. Sarah believes in hard work and being a positive influence for others. Sarah has been described as hardworking, caring and motivated to make a difference.
When Sarah was asked why she wanted to volunteer, she shared that she wanted to "be a voice for someone who is unable or afraid to speak for themselves".
Heather Ballien has spent almost 30 years in the field of education as a teacher and administrator. Heather is currently employed as the Superintendent at Great Lakes Cyber Academy. Heather is the proud mother of three sons, she enjoys volunteering as a coach for a variety of sports and is actively working on her doctorate degree. Heather has been described as knowledgeable, passionate and caring.
When Heather was asked why she wanted to volunteer she shared that "I want to be able to help children in our community and give them a voice".
Veronica Riess-Dawe has spent the past 17 years working in the healthcare field. She started out as a Certified Nurse's Assistant, became an LPN, RN and she is now a Nurse Practitioner. Veronica has a passion for children and you can see the pride in her eyes when she talks about her six year old son. Veronica enjoys volunteering at her church and with her local homeless shelter. Veronica has been described as compassionate, professional and dedicated.
When Veronica was asked why she wanted to volunteer she shared, "I have a passion for helping children. This is an area where I feel that I could serve the community well".
CASA of Gratiot County is currently accepting applications for our next volunteer training. Please contact Michelle or Rachel for more information at 989-463-1422.
Now is a Great Time to Talk to Your Kids About Body Safety
Submitted by: Heather Therrien
CAC Program Director
I know those might be uncomfortable situations or uncomfortable conversations...but it's a lot less uncomfortable than having to deal with the fact that your kids have been sexually abused.
Over 90% of children who visit the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County come to us as a result of sexual abuse allegations. Of the children we see, 96% know the alleged offender - 71% of alleged offenders are members of the child's family. Numbers like these may seem striking but they are consistent with national trends.
Individuals who prey on children and teens work very hard over time to gain the trust of their victims and, often, their parents. They are people with whom parents and children regularly interact. After learning their child has been abused, it is not uncommon to hear a parent say "I never would have thought he/she could do something like this" when talking about an offender who abused their child.
What do we do about it? The first step in preventing child and teen sexual abuse is to recognize that it can and does happen in every community including ours. It happens to children of any age from all different backgrounds and upbringings. While we shouldn't spend our days paranoid about predators, we must dispel the notion that "it can't happen to MY child."
There is a great deal of discomfort from kids and parents alike when it comes to talking about private body parts. If adults are struggling to talk with their kids about these issues, it makes sense that kids would also struggle to talk with parents if something happened to them. Nationally, only 33% of sexual abuse incidents/cases are identified and even fewer are reported.
With that in mind, we must arm our kids with the knowledge and comfort level they need to empower themselves. That means candid conversations about body safety and developing a clear plan with them on what to do and who to tell if someone says or does something that makes them uncomfortable.
There is no better time to talk with your children and teens. Don't know where to start? We can help. We offer a variety of training's throughout the year and information on upcoming oppurtunites can be found at (www.linkforfamilies.org) and our Facebook page (Child Advocacy-Gratiot County) or by calling 989-463-1422.
2019 Alumni Charity Basketball Game
Thank you everyone for an incredible night! We raised $6230.00 from the game for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention. These funds help us continue our work to improve the welfare of children and their families!
Thank you to our Sponsors, the Players, DuHadway Dance Dimensions, Allison Snearey and the Middle School Volunteers, Alma High School for allowing us to use the gym, Alma Sports Boosters, Eric Huff, Topher Goggin, Brad Stambaugh, Kiley Kochensparger, Nate Brown, the school mascots, our guests from the Army National Guard, the staff at Child Advocacy, and everyone who came out to support us!!! Thank you!!!!
Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Who: Non-biological caregivers (foster, adoptive, kinship, etc.) and their children.
Where: East Superior Christian Church (605 E. Superior St. Alma, MI)
When: Tuesday, May 14th 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
VP at (989)4
63-1422 or email morgan
Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, May 13th
MidMichigan Medical Center Gratiot - Wilcox Auditorium
Please call Emily at 989-463-1422 with any questions.
The Baby Pantry
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.
Lunch & Learn
1st Thursday of every month
Alma Public Library
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m
May 2nd - CAN Program
June 6th - CASA Program
Child Advocacy will be hosting monthly lunch & learns on a variety of topics. We hope you will join us. Please contact Child Advocacy to RSVP at (989)463-1422.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Child Abuse Prevention Month activities in April! We loved seeing all of your "Blue Monday" photos.
We hope you will join us at our annual banquet this month. See ticket information above.
Stay tuned for a big announcement from Child Advocacy in May. Follow us on Facebook for up to the minute news.
President & CEO