Child Advocacy


Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County

We believe ALL CASES of suspected child abuse should be investigated in a consistent, effective, and child-appropriate manner using a coordinated, multi-disciplinary team approach. To achieve this, the Children’s Advocacy Center works with medical and mental health professionals, law enforcement from every jurisdiction in Gratiot County, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Gratiot County Prosecutors Office to offer a wide range of services and support to children and families.


Forensic interviews are provided to children, adolescents, and vulnerable adults who are suspected victims of sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, may be drug-endangered, or who witness a violent crime. These interviews are conducted in a child-friendly environment by a trained forensic interviewer and are designed to gather facts in a manner that is legally sound, developmentally appropriate, and safe.

Victim Advocacy and Family Support

Victim advocates provide crisis intervention, information about the CAC Model and investigative processes, trauma assessments, referrals to specialized services, and ongoing follow-up support to children and their non-offending family members and caregivers. Victim advocates also serve as the voice for each child victim (and their family) within the multidisciplinary team.

Mental Health services

The Children’s Advocacy Center provides on-site trauma informed therapy as well as referrals to local mental health providers for counseling when appropriate.

Specialized Medical Evaluations and Treatment

When appropriate, referrals are made to medical providers trained to work specifically with children and adolescents who may be victims of abuse.

Children's Orientation book

The Children’s Advocacy Center of Gratiot County is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance and is a member of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Michigan.

* To report suspected child abuse call Centralized Intake (CPS) (855) 444-3911


Jennifer Stambaugh – President/CEO Child Advocacy
Heather Therrien – Children’s Advocacy Center Program Director/Forensic Interviewer
Mandi Luft – Children’s Advocacy Center Case Manager/Forensic Interviewer
Darby Chaffin – Children’s Advocacy Center Victim Advocate
Michelle Bartnik – Gratiot Integrated Health Network/Children’s Advocacy Center Therapist
Dept. of Health & Human Services – Gratiot County
Gratiot Integrated Health Network
Alma Police Dept.
Breckenridge Police Dept.
St. Louis Police Dept.
Michigan State Police
Gratiot County Sheriff’s Department
Gratiot County Prosecutors Office
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital – Center for Child Protection

For more information or to make a donation for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Gratiot County, please contact Jennifer Stambaugh at (989) 463-1422 or