November 2017 Newsletter
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
— Margaret Mead
Employee of the Month
Hanrahan Youth Services would like to acknowledge Jerome Silent as October’s Employee/Foster Parent of the Month. Jerome started at Hanrahan in October of 2016, as support and relief and then moved to becoming a Foster Parent in November of 2016 at our Braidwood location.
Jerome is a foster parent who continually provides support and care to the two youth in his home, and is always looking for new ways to help them succeed. He consistently meets deadlines for reports and appointments, and is on time and engaged at meetings – however, his commitment to his foster children far exceeds these administrative pieces. Jerome creates and maintains a home environment built on trust, safety, security and open communication. He builds rapport effortlessly with youth, due to his easygoing and down-to-earth nature. His care and commitment to youth extends outside of his own home, as he often provides support to other youth in the agency, participating in programming and sports alongside them. Jerome is unwilling to compromise the care that he provides, and will always go above and beyond for the youth that he works with.
Congratulations Jerome! Keep up the good work.
Hanrahan Youth Services would like to welcome Taylor Barron to Hanrahan Youth Services as our new Administrative Assistant. She will be assisting our operations manager at the head office with all administrative duties and file maintenance. We look forward to having her apply her experience and commitment to Hanrahan Youth Services. Welcome Taylor!
The Budworth Staff and residents send a big thank you to Bob and Brian for the new vehicle, as they are enjoying it greatly!
Special Thank you and recognition to the Geneva and Fernbank staff and to Natasha for handling a difficult situation this past month, making sure each resident and staff were taken care of.
November 1st Stress Awareness Day
Stress Awareness Day is your opportunity to start looking after yourself and your life, and break down the individual stressors in your life. The best way to celebrate Stress Awareness Day is to take the opportunity to remove the stress from your life for the day. Take the time to examine your life and find out where all the stressors lie, and start looking into taking steps to remove them or find ways to mitigate them. Removing stress from your life can start off as a stressful experience, so it can help to get the assistance from organizations like ISMA to look into strategies and support in how to manage those things in your life that cause stress.
November 5th Daylight Saving Time Ends
Sunday, November 5, 2017, 2:00:00 am clocks are turned backward 1 hour to Sunday, November 5, 2017, 1:00:00 am local standard time instead.
Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on Nov 5, 2017 than the day before. This means there will be more light in the morning!
November 11th Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the official end of the World War I hostilities on November 11, 1918. World War I was a massive conflict was played out over the whole globe, but particularly in Europe, where troops from Canada supported the Allied forces.
Parade and Service of Remembrance
Brampton, City Hall, Ken Whillans Square, Memorial Cenotaph
Great Pumpkin Party
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Garden Square, Downtown Brampton 6 - 8 pm
On Wednesday, November 1, rain or shine from 6 to 8 pm, join us in your costumes and bring your Halloween pumpkins to The Great Pumpkin Party in Garden Square Downtown Brampton. Don't miss the display of pumpkins, lit up one last time, then watch as they are prepped for compost at the Great Pumpkin Smash.
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Friday November 17, 2017
2 Wellington Street West, Brampton
Brampton residents and visitors enjoyed an evening of local and professional entertainment, family fun activities and the main event, the lighting of the 60-foot spruce tree!
Toronto Christmas Festival
November 16th to December 23rd
Free Admission on Weekdays
Each year, The Historic Distillery District plays host to Canada's only authentic Christmas Market. This year marks the 8th year of the Toronto Christmas Market. Styled after traditional Christmas markets that began in the 1400's in Europe, join us this year and rediscover the magic of Christmas!
Santa Claus Parade
You’ll want to pick a good spot along the route and get there early to set up camp. The parade starts at Ken Whillans and Sproule, and runs along Main all the way up until Elgin, lasting about an hour and a half in total.
Santa Claus Parade
The Santa Claus Parade has been a highlight on the calendars of tiny Toronto revelers since 1913! Fantastic floats leave the corner of Christie and Bloor Street in the company of marching bands, dancers, prancers and costumed characters all cheered on by hundreds of excited Santa fans along the 5-kilometre route.
Fall is Here!
Leaves are falling and the weather is getting colder! Here are some ideas that can be used to go outside and enjoy the beautiful colours and changing weather with our residents!
Fertilize your lawn!
Although the exact timing can vary due to weather conditions and climate zone, the final fertilizer application should be made sometime in November in most regions--at the point when the grass has stopped growing or has slowed down to the pint of not needing to be mowed.
Do not wait until the ground freezes, however. Ideally, there is still active growth occurring, but not enough to warrant mowing.
Proper timing is essential. If fertilizer is applied too early while grass or garden plants are vigorously growing, it can invite winter injury and snow mold the following spring.
Go for a Hike!
If you want the ultimate test of will, visit one of Ontario’s scenic hiking trails this autumn and try not to break out your phone to capture the views. Toronto has numerous trails to explore this season that all offer a chance to take in beautiful fall foliage and break a sweat at the same time. Evergreen Brick Works is a local favourite during fall, and they also offer a complimentary shuttle bus north of Broadview Station. Or head west to Dundas, Ontario to the Dundas Peak for a trail walk that also features a waterfall.
Go Apple Picking!
Candy apples, apple pie and apple crumble made with fresh and crisp apples picked by your very own hand. What gets better? There are several orchards across the GTA where you can pick your own apples and many places also offer wagon rides, petting zoos, and country fresh markets where you can nab fresh jams, fruits, and veggies.
Make your way through a corn maze!
Find a farm near you, when this fun and seasonal activity is involved your kids will be more willing to get outside or exercise.
Clean the Yard!
Rake the leaves, and clean the yard! This simple task is a great way to have some outdoor fun with your kids while boosting your home's curb appeal. This is also a great life skill for our youth. Make it fun, or worth their while to help out by making it a paid chore. This is a good way to instil a sense of pride in the aesthetics and condition of their home. Please just ensure that they are taught how to properly and safely use tools prior to starting.
Preparation for fall
We also just want to reiterate that it is the perfect time to do some fall cleaning both inside the home (including the garage) and out. For those of you who aren’t aware, the HYS pick-up truck is available to do garbage-runs. If you need to access it, please contact Erin Hurley at head office. We strongly advise that this gets done as soon as possible to prepare for the colder months.
Not many of us are actually looking forward to the weather getting colder but we have to be well-prepared for the coming winter, we advise you prepare for winter by buying extra non-perishable groceries, appropriate winter clothing, bags of salt, shovels and other important items.
We also want to advise our foster parents and staff to be watching the news regularly for any updates from Environment Canada regarding weather. It is important that we are well prepared for the winter! In addition to this, please ensure your residents have the appropriate winter clothing attire such as snow boots, winter coats, mittens, hats and scarves.
Just for fun, try to solve the following brain teasers. The answers will be at the bottom of the newsletter. Good luck!
1. U R YY WISE 4 ME
3. The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?
4. Tom’s height is six feet, he’s an assistant at a butcher’s shop, and wears size 9 shoes. What does he weigh?
DID YOU KNOW?...
In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, “They’ll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run.” On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, home run.
Duty to Report
Please remember that we all have a duty to report abuse or suspected abuse of a child. The Child and Family Services Act is clear on the civic responsibilities of ordinary citizens and their duty to report any concerns of abuse and neglect to Children’s Aid Societies, but there is a special responsibility on the part of professionals who work with children. It's important for all of us to increase our awareness about child abuse and neglect, to learn the signs and some of the underlying causes. Too many children lack the nurturing family and community supports essential for them to thrive and succeed. This has resulted in too many families coping with stressors and challenges affecting their ability to provide a safe, secure home for their children. (“Help Stop Abuse & Neglect”)
Please be sure to revisit the Duty to Report section of the Policy and Procedure Manual should you have questions regarding reporting procedures.
Strength Based Perspective
The Basics of Strength-Based Approach
Working from a strength-based perspective is a collaborative approach, whereby the person being supported by services is an active participant in the process of problem-solving issues they are experiencing. This allows the opportunity for the individual’s voice to be heard, and for the individual to be engaged in the decisions that affect their life. This is a chance to empower the client, but to also foster skills of self-advocacy. There is a significant focus on the quality of the relationship between the individual receiving support, and those that are providing the support. The relationship must be one of trust and transparency, in order for there to be real success.
A strength-based approach focuses on the inherent strengths of individuals, what their skills and abilities are, rather than on their deficits or problems. This also means investigating what resources are available, and how they can be used to accomplish what is needed. Although the goal is to promote the positive, this does not mean denying that issues or problems are affecting the client. Instead, it means combating situations based on the abilities and resources that exist, and utilizing these things in the most effective ways possible. The problems and concerns are not the main focus of intervention – the individual is.
Family and community work models often focus on the problems identified with the individual – thus, the individual is the problem that must be fixed. However, strength-based perspective focuses on the problem often existing because of interactions between people, organizations and structures.
Although issues exist, the individual only experiences the issue – the individual is not the issue.
The following are important principles of the strength-based perspective:
1) People are recognized as having potential, unique strengths and abilities, and have the capacity to continue to learn, grow, and change.
2) The focus of intervention is on the strengths and aspirations of the people we work with.
3) The language we use creates our reality – for the care providers, as well as children, youth, and families.
4) Communities and social environments are seen as being full of resources.
5) Service providers collaborate with the people they work with, and the client’s perspective of reality is primary.
6) Interventions are based on self-determination.
7) Change is inevitable.
8) There is a commitment to empowerment.
Problems are seen as the result of interactions between individuals, organizations or structures, rather than deficits within individuals, organizations or structures.
We would like to continue to remind our staff and foster parents of the importance of ongoing training which can be used to assist you when dealing with the youth in our care. Hanrahan Youth Services is always willing to consider funding the many different sessions/webinars offered throughout the GTA and online that would be considered useful in working with our clients. We actually encourage all of you to make it a priority and take advantage of this opportunity to expand your professional development.
Should you be interested in doing so, please contact your resource worker or program coordinator with the details of the specific session you are looking to attend.
We have just recently registered a number of our staff and foster parents for workshops on:
· Motivating Change – Strategies for Approaching Resistance
· Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – Strategies for Supporting
· Sexual Assault and Abuse Training
· Addictions and Mental Illness – Working with Co-Occurring Disorders
Many of our staff and foster parents have attended different workshops offered through the Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI) in the past. They provide a wide range of training opportunities and included in their upcoming events are:
· Working in Social Services – The Essential Skills
· Violence Threat Assessment – Planning and Response
· Self-Injury Behaviour in Youth – Issues & Strategies
· Crisis Response Planning
· De-escalating Potentially Violent Situations
· Anxiety – Practical Intervention Strategies
· Challenging Behaviours in Youth – Strategies for Intervention
For a complete list and descriptions of their upcoming workshops, you can visit:
* Be sure to select the Toronto or Mississauga local listings.
Please note that approved training is not limited to CTRI, these are just some examples of ones that we regularly take advantage of. We are always open to anything new that comes up. If you come across something different that you think would be worth exploring for our staff and foster parents, please send the information to the management team.
Our mandatory annual trainings, including UMAB and First Aid & CPR, will continue as per the usual schedules throughout the year. For upcoming sessions, please contact the head office.
Foster Parent Time-Off and Scheduling Relief
We understand how hard it can be to work around the clock. We also know how important it is to take time off whether it be for running errands, taking a break, visiting family and friends, or just taking care of business...we get it!
Hanrahan has a growing list of relief staff to utilize for the time you need, however, there is a process that needs to be followed in order to do so. It is essential that you communicate your request with your resource worker by submitting a TIME OFF REQUEST FORM. He or she will get this time approved, and then provide you with the relief staff list or book the relief for you. It is imperative that you keep them well informed of the time you take off, as well as ensure that your relief staff are documenting their hours and signing signature sheets when necessary.
Please note that any changes in dates or time need to first be approved by your resource worker.
Don’t forget about REC NIGHT which takes place every Wednesday at 8:00pm at Century Gardens in Brampton. This is a great opportunity to get out of the house and get your kids to be active and mingling with the Hanrahan family. It is open to all foster parents and staff. Take your youth to play some basketball, volleyball, or whatever indoor sport has been organized for that evening. Don’t miss out!
Should you have any questions regarding rec night, please don’t hesitate to contact Gamin Teague.
Brain Teasers answers:
1. you are too wise for me