“There is no greater joy, nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.” Mary Rose McGeady
Letter from the Directors
A Happy New Year to everyone, and hoping everyone had great holidays!
Wishing for everyone to have a great and safe New Year! Another year has passed with HYS and we would like it to be noted that this year was a good one. We understand we all are in a challenging profession and we want everyone to know their work never goes unnoticed, and that your work is truly beneficial to the company and providing a positive future and hope for the youths in our care. You all deserve a pat on the back, continue on with high standards and let’s continue with the on-going success for Hanrahan Youth Services!
Bob and Brian.
Employee of the Month
Hanrahan Youth Services would like to acknowledge Richard Charity as Employee of the month.
Richard has been an employee since July 2016, and he is employee of the month due to his detailed communication skills, his consistency, optimism with the youth and for his flexibility and work ethic as a staff. There is nothing Richard frowns about on shift which makes him very versatile. His helpfulness and positive attitude show to all. All managers appreciate his kindness and dedication when speaking with him. To finish off, his reporting is top of the
Congratulations Richard! Keep up the good work.
Congratulations to our Landfair Residence for winning “Garden and Community Beautification Award”. This was presented due to the residence having one of the best gardens in Scarborough Centre! Good job and keep it up!
For the New Year we would like to update our Hanrahan Family board, take a updated photo of the youths and send it to Taylors email or bring it by head office!
January Special Days
January 1st- New Years Day
New Years' Day is a time to relax and enjoy the start of a bright and promising new year....a new beginning. It is a time to be with family and friends. Enjoy everything about New Year's....it only comes once a year!
January 8th- National Clean Off Your Desk Day
National Clean Off Your Desk Day is an annual fun celebration observed on January 8th of this year. Of course, all of our desks during the holidays would have been filled with many more unnecessary items. One would have used the desk in the home for the Festivus and new year celebration. Even the desk in your office would have surrounded with dust as you haven’t visited your workplace due to the holiday season. Whatever the reason and mess be, it is essential to start the new year with a neat and clean workspace. Experts believe that the cleanliness increases the productivity. So it’s time to clean off your desk as it is National Clean Off Your Desk Day
Clean up by this plan of attack:
· Get your cleaning supplies out and get scrubbing and organizing.
· Get everyone in the home to help, give each person a task and award them for finishing it.
· Make an organization itinerary. Attack a different room or area each week.
· Declutter by donating things you don't use anymore.
January 11th- Human Trafficking Awareness Day
National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is celebrated January 11 of Every year. It’s a day to create awareness about sexual slavery and human trafficking to worldwide. Now, nearly 20-30 millions of people were enslaved in the world, which is more than any time in the human history. Slavery is recognised on every day in the way of young women forced into prostitution; migrant workers are exploited in the workforce and children become soldiers. Hence National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is created to end these slaveries and make sure that every individual has their rights and making the world as a safer place to all people.
January 20th- International Acceptance Day
International Day of Acceptance is an annual celebration January 20th of each year. At times, it is important to accept certain things as such. It is true in the case of accepting the disability of the person. There is nothing to feel different or awkward living with such disability. Thus to recognize those people globally, International Day of Acceptance is created. Annie Hopkins has created the symbol of International Symbol of Acceptance as a way to recognize social acceptance of disability. It is a worldwide observance that is created to honour the Annie Hopkins and her incredible work to make the disability as a socially acceptable thing.
New Years Eve
December 31st 2017
Brampton Square/ Infront of Brampton Rose Theatre
7:00 PM- 12:00 AM
Fireworks at 9 pm and 12 am over The Rose Theatre
Skating at Gage Parks, Concerts, Marshmellow roasting, and food trucks!
The Toronto Light Show
Distillery Historic District
Starting January 19th- March
Brampton Beast Hockey Game
The Beast enters its fifth season in the ECHL, and the third as the Montreal Canadiens affiliate. Join the Beast for a day of fun! Enjoy our Sunday skate day with the players after the game!
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge Street, Toronto
January 27, 2018
A wonderful opportunity to enjoy an eclectic concert of choral gems, from motets through to grand choruses. The Elora Singers and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir will be conducted by the emerging conductors participating in the 2018 Choral Conductors’ Symposium.
DJ Skate Nights
HarbourFront centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto.
Free Admission. All Ages.
January 1st- February 17th 2018
8:00PM- 11:00 PM
Skate and Helmet Rentals Available
Sharpen your skates and skills as Toronto’s number one outdoor winter parety returns with another stellar line up of DJSs that will being the heat to your Saturday nights. The rumours are true, DJ skate nights is the best in town!
The Cold Weather is Here!
The cold is here...And we may not like it! But these activities are something that can lighten up the spirit and continue to have fun in the New Year.
Go Skating There are plenty of indoor and outdoor facilities for skating in the GTA, including some really fun outdoor spots: skate under the lights at Nathan Phillips Square's famous outdoor ice rink; the Natrel Rink at Harbourfront is one of Toronto's favourite outdoor rink for lacing up; Cedarena in Markham is a 75 year old outdoor rink in the Rouge Valley surrounded by trees; Gage Parks beautiful lights and outdoor rink are something to see; Chinguacousy Skate Trail; or try Mel Lastman Square Skating in North York. Prefer to skate where it's warm? Toronto4Kids has a complete listing of Indoor Arenas in the Greater Toronto Area and other great spots for skating.
Most, if not all public skating rinks provide rental skates and helmets*
Build a Snowman Dress your snowman in an old Halloween costume or used clothing. Use drops of food coloring to make colorful streaks through the snowman. Have contests to see who can make their snowman look the best.
Tobogganing Sliding downhill is an exhilarating activity! You can use sleds, tobogganing carpets, or toboggans. Continue to a Dollarama or Walmart and get some toboggans! Scout out a good, safe hill to conquer with that toboggan you've been storing in the garage!
Go on a Winter Hike
Go outside and get some physical activity while bundled up! Go on a nice hike in a park or in the woods and take pictures, and spot animal tracks and enjoy the fresh air!
*Take a walk around your homes to ensure everything is properly insulated for the winter. Everyone needs to make sure that shovelling and salting is done on a regular basis for safety issues. Snow removal is very important, once done make sure to salt to avoid ice.
*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. Seven and five is thirteen or Seven and five are thirteen?
2. What does not live but can die?
3. What runs around a soccer field but never moves?
4. What does this say?
DID YOU KNOW?...
"The brakes come online somewhat later than the accelerator of the brain," said Johnson, referring to the development of the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system respectively. At the same time, "teens need higher doses of risk to feel the same amount of rush adults do," Johnson said.
Teenage brains are simply wired to seek reward, a study in 2014 showed. When teens got money, or anticipated receiving some, the part of their brain that deals with pleasure and reward, the ventral striatum, lit up more than in adults in the study.
All this may make teens vulnerable to engaging in risky behaviors, such as trying drugs, getting into fights or jumping into unsafe water. By late adolescence, say 17 years old and after, the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and long-term perspective taking is thought to help them reign in some of the behavior they were tempted by in middle adolescence, according to McNeely and Blanchard.
What to do in the meantime? "Continue to parent your child." Johnson said. Like all children, "teens have specific developmental vulnerabilities and they need parents to limit their behavior," she said.
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 InterventionFor 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.