Child Advocacy

ABOUT US

HISTORY

1976- The Child Advocacy Association was formed by Gratiot County Professionals and citizens interested in working together to provide services for children and their families.

November 1982- The Gratiot County Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention (CAN) Council merged with Child Advocacy, and we became a charter member of the Michigan Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

1994- Child Advocacy became a Designated Council for the Children’s Trust Fund.

January 2010- Child Advocacy took on new leadership and moved into the Wilcox Non-Profit building.

August 2010- Child Advocacy began the discussion of developing a Children’s Advocacy Center(CAC) in Gratiot County.

2011- work began on the Children’s Advocacy Center. Writing grants, raising money for renovations, and putting together a multi-disciplinary team and county protocol. That year Child Advocacy also took on the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition(GCSAC).

2012- Child Advocacy took on the Gratiot County Suicide Coalition and merged the program with the Substance Abuse Coalition.

January 2013- Child Advocacy opened the doors for the first interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center. October 2013 the Children’s Advocacy Center was accredited through the National Children’s Alliance and Child Advocacy took on the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program(CASA).

July 2017- Child Advocacy took over the Baby Pantry from the Red Cross. That summer our CEO started working on our Building Project dream.

May 2020- Child Advocacy broke ground at the site of their new building.

Child Advocacy has continued to expand significantly over the years creating more programs and offering more services to the community. Child Advocacy continues to serve thousands of children and their families each year.

Mission

The mission of Child Advocacy is 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.

Beliefs

Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
Prevention of Substance Abuse
Parent Education
Collaboration of Services
Community Awareness

Hours of operation

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

9:00am – 4:00pm

9:00am – 4:00pm

9:00am – 4:00pm

9:00am – 4:00pm

9:00am – 4:00pm

Closed

Closed

Monday: 9am – 4pm

Tuesday: 9am – 4pm

Wednesday: 9am -4pm

Thursday: 9am – 4pm

Friday: 9am – 4pm

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

Programs

We believe that the KEY to the prevention of child abuse and neglect is through education, training, and support of our community and their families. The CAN Program features car seat safety inspections, child sexual abuse prevention training, infant safe sleep education, and more.

The Children’s Advocacy Center emphasizes the coordination of investigation and intervention services by bringing together professionals and agencies as a multidisciplinary team to create a child-focused approach to child abuse cases.  The center provides forensic interviewing services, victim advocacy and support, and family support.  No fee for this service. 

CASA recruits, trains and supports volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court.  Volunteers serve as the “eyes and ears” of the court offering the judge a critical perspective of what is in the best interest of each child, based on information gathered first-hand through research, interviews and observations.

GCSAC is a collaborative countywide decision-making body of community members that meets to address the issue of substance abuse prevention in Gratiot County. GCSAC also conducts suicide prevention programs in the county.  GCSAC offers QPR training (Question, Persuade, & Refer), an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives.

Board of Directors

President – Carolyn Studley – Community Representative
Vice President – Jennifer Leppien – CASA
Treasurer – Sara Bonacci – Community Representative
Secretary –  Garth Anderson – Commercial Bank
Audra Stahl – President & CEO – Child Advocacy
Colleen Davis – Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Rob DuHadway – DuHadway Dance Dimensions
David Justin – Alma School Board
Mike Morris – Gratiot County Sheriff
Jennifer Seifker – Tri Lakes Petroleum
Tammy Halfmann – Mercantile Bank
Jim Dubey – Garr Tool
Alison Morrison – Dept. of Health and Human Services
John Morey – CPA
Mark Williams – Alma Public Safety Administrator
Annette Weller-Collison – Kahn Consulting, INC.
Andrew Fias – Michigan State Police
Michelle Stillwagon – Gratiot Integrated Health Network
Katie Tobias – Katie Tobias State Farm

Career Opportunities

We currently do not have any career opportunities.