About Northern Michigan Alliance for Children
With a vision to bring Child Advocacy and Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) services to children in underserved areas of Michigan, a devoted group of child advocacy professionals, community members, and child abuse investigative agencies united in an effort to develop a stand-alone 501(c)3 CAC in Harrison, Michigan in Clare County.
With the inclusion of start-up costs and investment, the group, governed by a small volunteer Board of Directors, opened the doors of the Northern Michigan Mobile CAC (NMMCAC) in September of 2014 with a three year grant from the Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow Foundation totaling $300,000. The two full-time employees had an annual budget of $75,000. Now in its fifth year, the budget has grown to accommodate the needs of the region, exceeding $700,000, with seven full-time and two part-time employees.
Partnering with communities to bring healing, hope, and justice to abused children in rural Michigan.
We envision a community that does not tolerate abuse where every child has a voice and is happy, healthy, and safe.
What is a child advocacy center?
A Child Advocacy Center is a trauma informed center that assists in the investigation of child sexual and severe physical abuse by conducting forensic interviews, victim advocacy and coordinating a community team of professionals in a multidisciplinary response.
In five years the scope of work has grown to accommodate the needs of this region and now includes a four-county regional site in Escanaba, the heart of Delta County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This site is the first fully operational Child Advocacy Center in the Upper Peninsula. NMAC has also pioneered the Midwest’s first and only Mobile Child Advocacy Center, a 40 foot motorcoach, retrofitted to mimic a CAC, which travels to remote locations in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, bringing the investigative team and support services to children exposed to trauma instead of requiring them to travel to more resourced areas.
NMAC leadership has a long history within the Child Advocacy discipline and are highly respected among cohorts at the local, regional, and state levels with regard to the quality of services, the combined professionalism and expertise of staff, and the commitment of team members and Board of Directors. The NMAC volunteer Board of Directors include eighteen of the area’s most dedicated, professional, and passionate community and agency partners and include an 8/9 split between community members and representatives from our MDT agencies. This Governing Board will be changing in 2019 to include Upper Peninsula and Tribal representation.
NMAC’s Board of Directors and staff, having brought NMAC through successful accreditation with the National Children’s Alliance within the first year of operation, are dedicated to assuming the leadership role on a regional platform. They vow to work in partnership with unrepresented communities for sustainable change.
Board of Directors
Michelle Ambrozaitis, Board Chair
Chief Prosecuting Attorney, Clare County
ShaVonne Brubaker, Vice-Chair
Supervisor, Community Mental Health Central Michigan
Officer, Clare City Police Department
Chief Prosecuting Attorney, Gladwin County
Community Nurse Educator, MidMichigan Medical Center- Gladwin
Lt. Josh Lator
F/LT, Post Commander, Michigan State Police
Supervisor, Child Protective Services for Gladwin County
Undersheriff, Clare County Sheriff department
Sue Harvey - Secretary
Director, MidMichigan Community Action Agency
Katie Abbate - Treasurer
Banking Center Manager, Chemical Bank
Social Worker, Gladwin Schools
President, Gerstacker Foundation
Community Representative, NEMCSA Headstart
Great Start Collaborative Coordinator, Clare-Gladwin RESD
Senator Jim Stamas
Public Policy, Michigan State Senate
Attorney, Law Office of Dreyer, Hovey & Post, LLC
Executive Director & Forensic Interview Specialist
Moving to Michigan in 2011, Bethany began her journey as a specialized forensic interviewer, an interim Executive Director for Child & Family Enrichment Council, and then started her very own Child Advocacy Center.
Karen has spent over 20 years working with children and families in diverse professional settings. She is an expert in the field of child development, and has endless knowledge of leading Child Advocacy Centers to success.
Administrative Support Specialist
Crystal assists the Executive Director with day-to-day operations and ongoing projects. She is focused on improving business practices and organizational culture.