Child Advocacy




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.


To promote, support, and strengthen the well-being of our community.


To establish Child Advocacy as the recognized expert in the prevention and intervention of child abuse and neglect, substance misuse, and suicide. 


Prevention is possible with education and training

Advocacy and support is critical to intervention

Meeting basic needs is fundamental

Success lies in a collaborative approach to implementing services

Hours of operation








9:00am – 4:00pm

9:00am – 4:00pm

9:00am – 4:00pm

9:00am – 4:00pm

9:00am – 4:00pm
(Closed Friday’s Memorial Day through
Labor Day)



Monday: 9am – 4pm

Tuesday: 9am – 4pm

Wednesday: 9am -4pm

Thursday: 9am – 4pm

Friday: 9am – 4pm

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED


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.

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

Board of Directors

President – Jennifer Leppien – Community Representative
Vice President – Garth Anderson – Commercial Bank
Treasurer – Jennifer Siefker – USPP-Tri Lakes, LLC
Secretary –  Colleen Davis – Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Audra Stahl – President & CEO – Child Advocacy
David Justin – Alma School Board
Tammy Halfmann – Mercantile Bank
Alison Morrison – Dept. of Health and Human Services
John Morey – CPA
Mark Williams – Alma Public Safety Administrator
Annette Weller-Collison – Kahn Consulting, INC.
Steve Schutter – Michigan State Police
Michelle Stillwagon – Gratiot Integrated Health Network
Katie Tobias – Katie Tobias State Farm
Bryan Anderson – St. Louis Schools
LeeAnn Chadwick, MSN,RN – MidMichigan Medical Center Gratiot & Mt. Pleasant
Joe Bowen – Powell Solutions

Career Opportunities

We do not have any active career listings at this time. If you are interested in volunteering please visit our WAYS TO GIVE tab and select volunteer to learn more.