CA with tag line 

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

Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement, and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent. 

-Bob Keeshan

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 Therrien  
CAC Coordinator
Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager
Staci Bigelow
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

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


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
Breckenridge Police Dept.
 104 E. Saginaw 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 
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


New Children's Books


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!

"Child Advocacy Staff and Board,

Thank you for allowing me to be part of such a dynamic agency!"

Card from 
Heather Gardner
(Former Coordinator of the Children's Advocacy Center)

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List
Welcome back to another school year. Child Advocacy is excited for another year of community events and parenting classes. 

September is also suicide prevention month. See an important article below submitted by Ty Warczinsky our Substance Abuse Coalition Coordinator. 

Like us on Facebook to stay up to date on upcoming events.

Child Advocacy Staff
Check out our website .
Upcoming Events

Understanding Addiction and 
Identifying Addictive Behaviors
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 
7:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Alma College
Oscar E. Remick Heritage Center
614 W. Superior Street, Alma

Target Audience: Coaches, Counselors, EMS, Parents, 
Law Enforcement, and Teachers.

Online registration is available at:

Pain, Perceptions and Ethical Challenges: Caring for the Addicted Patient
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Central Michigan University
Bovee University Center Auditorium - Room 302
103 E. Preston Street, Mt. Pleasant

Continuing Education Credits - Physician and Nurses

Online registration available at:

Mom 2 Mom Sale
Saturday, October 15, 2016
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Youth for Christ 
2550 W. Cheesman Rd. - Alma
Visit: for more information.

CASA Trivia Night
Saturday, November 19
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Alma Elks Lodge #1400 - Alma

Contact Michelle Zombeck at (989) 463-1422 for more information on this event.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
 By: Ty Warczinsky

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a subject that needs to be discussed and talked about. Contrary to what many believe, the risk of suicide does not increase if we talk about it.  In fact, the more the subject is discussed, the more willing someone may be to share his/her thoughts on this tough subject.

Gratiot County is not immune to suicide.  Suicide is hitting close to home and is something that we as a community need to continue to fight against. Suicide and suicidal thoughts are being reported more and more, not just in the United States but right here in Gratiot County. Central Dispatch has seen an increase of calls over the past three years. In 2013, Central Dispatch received 74 calls, 79 in 2014, and an alarming 146 in 2015.  In 2014, the MiPHY survey, which was given out to the Gratiot County schools, reported that 18.4 percent of 9th and 11th graders had seriously considered suicide in the past year.  That number does not look that much different from the 2016 MiPHY data showing that 17.4 percent of 9th and 11th graders seriously considered suicide.  

Law Enforcement, Community Mental Health, the Health Department, the County High Schools, and the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition continue to work together to fight against this serious issue that Gratiot County residents face. Community Mental Health has a therapist that works in the county's high schools.  Law Enforcement provides information/resources to those who call and inquire or from whom they receive expressed concern. Question, Persuade, and Referral training (QPR) and Mental Health First Aid training is offered to the community free of charge.  Local businesses and schools have allowed the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition to provide the Suicide Prevention Training QPR to their students and/or employees.  The schools have brought in outside speakers to speak to students about this issue and also about ways to offer hope.  The Coalition has put up billboards educating the community on resources that are available locally and nationally.  

As community members, you can be a resource to others and know what resources are out there.  Know about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) and Community Mental Health (989) 463-4971 that are both available 24/7.  Call Child Advocacy and set up a QPR Training for your club, business, church or organized group with whom you meet. There is much being done, but there is so much more to do.
Back to School Tips!

As the summer ends and kids return to school the American Academy of Pediatrics ( has provided some great tips on how to make the transition back to school go smoothly for parents, child care providers and children!

Put Your Child's First Day Nerves to Ease: Point out the positive aspects of starting school: seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Refresh your child's positive memories about previous years.

Backpack Safety: Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child's body weight.

School Bus Safety: Tell children to always check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street and to never cross in front of the bus unless the bus driver is looking at them.

Walking to School: If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week to make sure they know the route and can do it safely. To ensure your child is safe consider starting a "walking school bus," in which adults alternate in accompanying a group of children walking to school.

Snacks and Lunch: Each week check the cafeteria menu that is sent home so you can plan on packing a lunch the days the main course is one not nutritious or one your child dislikes. Also keep in mind that each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60% so talk to your child about choosing healthier beverage choices.

Bullying: To prevent your child from being bullied teach them when and how to ask for help and alert school officials of any problems and work with them on solutions. Make sure your child knows that bullying is never okay and be a positive role model to help ensure your child doesn't become the bully. If your child is a witness to bullying encourage them to include bullied children in activities and to tell a trusted adult.

Developing Good Studying Habits: Children need a permanent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that offers privacy and distance from distractions. Establish a household rule that the TV set and other distractions stay off during homework time.
Scheduled Classes
ACT Parenting Class 
FREE training for parents of children 0-8 years old
September 6, 8, 13, 15, 21 & 22
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.

Surviving Your Adolescents
FREE training for parents of children 10-18 years old 
September 12, 14, 19, 21, 26 & 28
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma
To register call Child Advocacy at (989) 463-1422.

Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Tuesday, September 13
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.
Happy September!

The first day of school is a lot like New Years Day for our staff.  Back to school is a time of new beginnings.  A new school year means new classes, events, and programs for Child Advocacy.  We always feel refreshed and excited to kick off our new year!! 

This year we are starting off our new year with two great parenting series (see above).  Both parenting classes are taught by trained facilitators who are experts in their field.  All classes and training's are FREE to Gratiot County residents.  Parenting is hard, we know this, so take advantage of these great classes. 

We are also kicking off the new year with a great prescription drug presentation taught by Dr. Corey Waller.  Dr. Waller is an expert in the field of prescription drug abuse and the Heroin epidemic.  These presentations are open and FREE to anyone (see above). 

Child Advocacy will be hiring this fall!!  Please watch our Facebook page and website for details on the new positions.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Audra Stahl
Executive Director