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  • 08 Jun 2010 4:27 PM | Michael Christy (Administrator)

    As the second full day of the National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference comes to a close, I wanted to give you an update on your Michigan delegations visits to Capitol Hill.  Three members of your Michigan delegation and I went to Capitol Hill this afternoon for meetings at the offices of Senator Stabenow and Congressman Hoekstra.  We also made plans to deliver information packets to other Congressional offices.

    We discussed a number of issues during these meetings and provided information about the role of Children’s Advocacy Centers and the importance of continuing the work that is accomplished at each CAC in Michigan.  We offered the support of the Michigan Chapter to provide additional information and be a resource to the representative’s office on child abuse issues.

    We also discussed that we were requesting assistance in maintaining funding for victims of child abuse.  We asked for assistance maintaining the funding of the Victims of Child Abuse Act which was appropriated $22.5 million for FY2010 which represented an increase of $2.5 million over the prior year.  We requested assistance in maintaining level funding, which means $22.5 million for FY2011.  During these uncertain financial times, the need for CAC services across the country is increasing.  We reminded our representatives that any cut to the Victims of Child Abuse Act would be devastating for many CACs and while we do appreciate the difficulties of the federal budget, we are requesting our members of Congress work to maintain our funding at its current levels.

    We also encouraged our members of Congress to sign on to the Victims’ Rights Caucus which is a bi-partisan House caucus.  The Caucus has the goal of representing crime victims through introduction of legislation that reflects the interest and rights of crime victims.  The Caucus also provides an ongoing forum for dialogue between Congress and national victim assistance organizations such as the National Children’s Alliance.  The Caucus also seeks opportunities for public education initiatives to foster a better understanding of the impact of crime on victims.

    We feel that these visits were very productive and we look forward to continuing to build relationships with these and other Congressional leaders to represent you and your organizations interest in meeting the needs of victims of child abuse in Michigan.

  • 08 Jun 2010 12:39 PM | Michael Christy (Administrator)

    Hello to everyone from Washington DC.  It is the second full day of the NCA Leadership Conference.  There are 8 Michigan attendees at the conference.  The first day was very productive and while I attended the chapter management track, our other Michigan attendees attended sessions in the evidence supported practice, new director support, and CAC management tracks.  We had an opportunity to view some new promotional materials that NCA is rolling out for use by CAC’s across the country.  We have learned about initiatives that NCA is developing to enhance the ways that State Chapters can provide support and assistance to CAC’s in their areas.

    During a session this morning, some of the Michigan attendees and I had the opportunity to view the film Lost Sparrow which documents a families struggles with innocence stolen and the redemption found by some of the family members.  It is a powerful film that should help all of us remember why we do the jobs we do.  Since I had been working on developing a chapter video library, I decided to make this video the first in the library.  I have purchased the Lost Sparrow DVD for inclusion in the Chapter video library and you can click here to go to the video library page and check out the video trailer and fill out a form to sign out the video to show at your organization or meeting.  You will need to log in as a member to view the page.

    We have also been working on a Chapter promotional flash video for our web site and for our members to use to promote their local CAC’s.  Seeing some of the material that other CAC’s have developed at this conference has convinced me that we are on the right track.  I will be asking all of you to submit a few photos of your CAC for inclusion in this promotion video.  Also, if you could send me the statistics from your centers that you send to NCA, some of this information can be included in our video as well.  Look to hear more about this after the NCA Leadership Conference.

    That is it for now, as the Michigan attendees and I are getting ready to head to the Hill to meet with Senators and Congressional Representatives on your behalf.  I will have more to share with you on those meetings in a news update tomorrow so be sure the check back for that information.

  • 12 May 2010 3:37 PM | Michael Christy (Administrator)

    The Michigan Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance is arranging times for Michigan participants to meet with elected Congressional leaders during the NCA leadership conference.  These meetings are designed to provide Michigan CAC directors and administrators the opportunity to meet with their elected Congressional leaders and acquaint them with the work of local Children's Advocacy Centers.

    These meetings are being scheduled for the Tuesday of the conference which is June 8, 2010.  At 1:30pm on June 8, conference participants will proceed to Capitol Hill for these appointments.  The Michigan Chapter is currently working with the offices of Congressman Pete Hoekstra, Congressman Bart Stupak, Senator Carl Levin and Senator Debbie Stabenow to arrange for these meetings.  As we continue to work with these offices to arrange for meetings, it would be helpful for us to know how many of you are attending the conference and which meetings you would be interested in attending.  Please let us know by clicking here to go to the Hill Day visit page and complete a short survey regarding which meetings you would attend.  You will need to log in as a member to access the page.

    We have also scheduled a Hill Day consultation with NCA staff for 4:30pm on Monday June 7, 2010 at the conference center.  NCA staff will provide guidance and talking points for the Hill Day visits and you are welcome to attend this meeting.  Once we have a count of how many wish to attend the meetings, we can pass that information on to the Congressional leader’s office.  The more people we have attending will increase our chances of securing a meeting.

  • 06 May 2010 9:22 AM | Michael Christy (Administrator)

    The Michigan Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance recently received information regarding new regulations from the IRS that may impact small nonprofit agencies with budgets of less than $25,000.  This new tax rule for non-profits may not affect any of our Member CAC’s as it refers to a change of filing for non-profits with budgets of $25,000 or less.  However, if you agency budget has been or is less than $25,000 or if you are unsure if your agency has filed IRS form 990 in the past, you should ensure that your agency has met the IRS rules for filing to protect your tax exempt status.  In the past, non-profits, were exempt from filing if their budget was less than $25,000.  However, that has now changed and all non-profits have to file now or they will lose their tax exempt status.

    If your nonprofit has previously been exempt from filing a Form 990 with the IRS, it is most likely now required to file a Form 990-N. A provision in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires most small nonprofits to file the Form 990-N if they had been exempt from filing the Form 990 because their annual gross receipts are $25,000 or less.

    Non-filers will be subject to automatic revocation for the first time beginning in 2010. A provision of the law allows the IRS to remove nonprofits from the “rolls” if they fail to file a 990-N (or other applicable Form 990s) for three consecutive years.   Effective midnight May 15, 2010, any agency that has not filed a tax form for the past three years will have its tax-exempt status automatically revoked, according to the IRS".  Those that are removed will have to re-apply for tax exempt status.

    We have compiled a list of links to the IRS web site with additional information and the links are listed below.

    We would encourage you to contact your accountant for additional information if you believe this information may apply to your agency.

  • 29 Apr 2010 2:03 PM | Michael Christy (Administrator)

    The Michigan Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance is announcing that they have $2,000 to award as a scholarship to a member Children’s Advocacy Center director to offset expenses for attending the National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference.  The conference is June 6 – 9, 2010 in Washington DC.  Interested CAC Directors need to complete the application form online at the Michigan Chapter website.   The application asks how attendance at this conference will enhance the applicant’s position as a CAC Director and member of the Michigan Chapter.   In addition, the application will ask how the CAC Director would share their knowledge with the rest of the Michigan Chapter members after attending the conference.  The application deadline is May 5, 2010 to allow the Executive Board to make a decision as soon as possible before the conference.  You may click here to go to the members section of our website to complete the online application.  You will need to log in as a member to access the page.

  • 26 Apr 2010 9:09 AM | Michael Christy (Administrator)

    Brooke Nettz has been appointed as the Executive Director for the newly established Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center, located in Traverse City Michigan.  The center serves families in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

    Brooke received her Undergraduate degree from DePaul University with a B.A. in Psychology concentrating on Human Growth and Development.   She worked as a Residential Specialist at Nachusa Lutheran Home  in Nachusa, Illinois.  From there she began working at St. John's Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan as a Youth Counselor.   She then decided to return to college and received her Master of Arts from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, majoring in Forensic Psychology.  Upon graduation she worked doing Psychosexual Evaluations on sex offenders, Divorce Mediation, and taught Introduction to Psychology at Sauk Valley Community College.  Additionally, she served as the Forensic Interviewer at the Shining Star Children's Advocacy Center located in Dixon, Illinois.  It was while working at the CAC that she realized how much of a positive impact children’s advocacy centers could have on the children who had suffered abuse and their families.  When the executive director position became available at the newly opened Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy Center, she knew that she could use all of her previous education and experience in the field to shape a great Center.  She feels very blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity!

    Please join the Michigan Chapter in welcoming Brooke to her new position.  We all look forward to working with her as she begins work with the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center.

  • 05 Apr 2010 10:52 PM | Michael Christy (Administrator)

    The Michigan Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance has opened the new members area of the web site.  Members are now able to edit their contact information, subscribe to forums and news feeds, as well as manage privacy settings directly online.  Once you log-in as a member, you will see your name at the top of the log in box and a link to “view profile” under your name.  Once you click on the view profile link, you will be able to manage your membership information.  There are many tools to allow you to customize your participation on our web site.  Please let us know if you have any questions about any of the features.

  • 02 Apr 2010 10:51 PM | Michael Christy (Administrator)

    The Michigan Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance has secured a new domain name to develop the new web site while leaving the original chapter site in place.  The new domain is www.michildrensalliance.org and this domain is where the new members section is being developed.  The prior domain name of www.mivoice4kids.org is still valid and the original Chapter site is functioning at that domain.  When the new site development is complete, both domains will be directed to the new site.  If you have any questions about this conversion process, please feel free to contact us.

  • 31 Mar 2010 10:47 PM | Michael Christy (Administrator)

    The annual National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference will be held June 6-9, 2010 in Washington DC.  We will post additional information on our events page once it becomes available but mark your calendar now for this important event.

  • 31 Mar 2010 9:14 PM | Michael Christy (Administrator)
    Tom Knapp has recently been appointed the Chapter Coordinator for the Michigan Chapter of the National Children's Alliance.  He plans to visit all Children's Advocacy Centers in the near future and is looking forward to working with everyone involved with the Michigan Chapter.

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