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February 2018 Newsletter


February 2018

“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” Mandy Hale

Employee of the Month

Hanrahan Youth Services would like to recognize John Coles as Foster Parent of the Month for January.

John joined HYS as a foster parent back in April of 2000. He has always provided the youth in his care with support, encouragement, and guidance, and he has also been their biggest advocate when needed. John’s program is run with a great deal of structure, routine, and humour. This in turn then provides his youth with the opportunity to be successful and productive members of the community.

Over the past 18 years, John has built many positive and long standing relationships with the youth in his care, as well as with fellow foster parents and work colleagues alike. He is a sought after foster parent by all CAS’ that have had the opportunity to place with him as his quality of care for the youth, and for the home, is above standard. It has been said by many that “he is truly in it for the right reasons”.

In addition to the level of care that he provides, John’s administrative proficiency and time management with both personnel and resident documentation has never faltered. He takes great pride in his work and HYS would like to thank him for his dedication.

Congratulations to John from everyone at HYS!


Hanrahan Youth Services would like to acknowledge Paul Santori who has been a foster parent since 2002 who is now involved as a Child and Youth Worker and is now helping with Foster Care support.

Head office is excited as we are moving to a new location as of March 1st, 2018. We will be located at 28 Malcolm Crescent, Brampton.

Thank you to everyone who attended UMAB to update their training!

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!

Cheers Program are looking for black youth in and out of care in Toronto to become mentors. This is a great way to become part of a culturally empowered community of youth in and from care who work together to support, encourage and improve their livelihood. Gain community service hours for high school graduation, connect with peer mentors offering valuable life skills to prepare for transitions and access wraparound services at Queen West. Go to to learn more.

February Special Days

February is Black History Month

Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present. We celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.

People of African descent have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity since the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa, a navigator and interpreter, whose presence in Canada dates back to the early 1600s. The role of Blacks in Canada has not always been viewed as a key feature in Canada’s historic landscape. There is little mention that some of the Loyalists who came here after the American Revolution and settled in the Maritimes were Blacks, or of the many sacrifices made in wartime by Black Canadian soldiers as far back as the War of 1812. Few Canadians are aware of the fact that African people were once enslaved in the territory that is now Canada, or of how those who fought enslavement helped to lay the foundation of Canada’s diverse and inclusive society.

Black History Month is a time to learn more about these Canadian stories and the many other important contributions of Black Canadians to the settlement, growth and development of Canada, and about the diversity of Black communities in Canada and their importance to the history of this country.


Hanrahan Youth Services encourages all of our staff and foster parents to make arrangements for any of our youth who would be interested in attending some of the many festivities taking place throughout the GTA.

Annual Black History Month Celebration

Catholic Children's Aid

Friday February 16, 2018

5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Light Buffet and refreshments

Guest speakers

Jamaican Canadian Association, 995 Arrow Road, Toronto, Ontario

Pride in Black History Month

February 10th, 2018

3:00pm to 6:00pm

Community Door Brampton

601-7700 Hurontario St.

Pride in Black History Month is an arts-based workshop for LGBTQ+ members of African, Caribbean & Black (ACB) communities to network and celebrate ACB cultures and intersectional identities. Interactive activities will include performance, handicrafts, and creative writing. A light meal will be provided.

Black History Month

A music performance and a movie screening of Hidden Figures

February 4th, 2:00PM to 4:00PM

Richmond Hill Public Library

There are many events to attend in Brampton or Toronto, see link for many dates and events

February 2- Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is growing more and more popular in Canada. There is a festival in Wiarton, Bruce County, Ontario, where the town groundhog, Wiarton Willie, delivers his “prediction” early in the morning on February 2 every year. Do you think he will see his shadow?

February 13-Pancake Tuesday

Mix up some pancakes to eat! Pancake Day, also called Shrove Tuesday, and Fat Tuesday, is the last day of feasting before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It's called so due to the tradition of eating pancakes on the day. This tradition comes from a time where any remaining rich foods were eaten on the day before Lent to use them up, and fasting begins.

February 14- Valentines Day

Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine's Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century. Spend quality time and show the people in your life you care about them!

February 17- Random Act of Kindness Day

Sometimes it’s the smallest act that makes the biggest impact, something as simple as saying please or thank you can turn a day around, and make a life seem that much better. Random Acts of Kindness Day encourages you to get out there and be the light you want to see in the world.

February 19- Family Day

Family Day is holiday that celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities.

This is the perfect opportunity to help make our youth feel that they are more than just “clients” to the agency. We want each and every one of them to feel at home and to know that we care for them. We suggest that our staff and foster parents take this day to spend some quality time with the youth together as a group that is fun and interactive. Go to dinner, go skating, go to a movie together, etc. There are also many venues that will often offer specials for families, like a planned event, excursions or reduced admission prices. Some inns and spas offer weekend getaways at discounted prices as well.

February 28- Pink Day

Bullying is a growing problem in the world today, and every year we hear more and more incidents coming up of bullying in schools everywhere. Bullying doesn’t stop in school, though, it extends out into the world outside of school and even into the virtual world of the internet. Bullying doesn’t tend to follow any kind of rhyme or reason, it’s merely the exertion of power over those who are weaker or stand out as unusual. Pink Day is a day dedicated to beating the bullies and breaking the cycle that creates and perpetuates this damaging behavior in schools.

February Events

Brampton Cup- Olympic Style Boxing Tournament

Friday, 02 February 2018 to Friday, 02 February 2018

Brampton Soccer Center

Time:7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

All ages/ $15

The Brampton Cup is the largest amateur boxing tournament in Canada, hosting over 250 boxers from over 60 clubs in an annual 3 day tournament. Boxers compete in Junior, Youth and Elite categories for Novice and Open classes

Board Game Sunday

February 4th, 2018

12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Hobby Studio

21 Queen Street West, Brampton ON

Family friendly event, come play board games on Sunday’s. Game Coordinator for this event is Colette. You can bring your own, or use ours. You can meet new people who also love to play board games.

Valentines Day Sweets & Treats Workshop

February 11, 2018

Whitchurch- Souffville Museum & Community Centre, Woodbine Avenue

10:00 AM- 12:00 PM


Learn to make a variety of sweet treats to take home- then tour the museum

Toronto Nature Walk

February 17, 2018

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Tommy Thompson Park - 1 Leslie St, Toronto, ON M4M 3M2, Canada

Free Admission. All Ages.

Join us on a guided nature walk as we explore Toronto’s urban wilderness! We’ll share information about the park, as well as discuss what plants and animals are up to this time of year.

The Toronto Light Show

Distillery Historic District

Starting January 19th- March


Family Day In Toronto

February 19

These are great opportunities to get out as a group and have some fun!

Family Day Weekend at the Toronto Zoo

Meet Canada’s only giant panda cubs, Jia Yueyue and Jia Panapan, before they leave this March! Also enjoy over 10 km of walking trails, explore the 10-acre Tundra Trek featuring a polar bear habitat with underwater viewing area or escape the chill with five indoor tropical pavilions

Family Funday Weekend: One World

The Royal Ontario Museum celebrates Canada’s rich multicultural landscape with musical performances and special hands-on activities. Runs from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., February 19.

Family Day Free Community Skate

Bring your family and friends for a free skate at the “Cathedral of Hockey.” Formerly Maple Leaf Gardens, the Mattamy Athletic Centre opens up the ice from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on February 19.

Family Day at Fort York

Explore the past of Toronto by touring a historic kitchen and sampling baking from the hearth. Kids can try an 1812 drill class and some old-fashioned games, as well as a fun-filled activity book. Hot chocolate and a roaring fire complete the experience. February 19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Energy Show

Get ready to encounter a seven-foot Tesla coil, a hair-raising Van de Graaff generator, burning bubbles and more to uncover the world’s ultimate source of power – all in the name of science at the Ontario Science Centre! Multiple show times a day February 17 to 19.

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!

Preparation February

*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.

Brain Teaser

Just for fun, try to solve the following brain teasers. The answers will be at the bottom of the newsletter. Good luck!

1. A man was walking in the rain. He was in the middle of nowhere. He had nothing and nowhere to hide. He came home all wet, but not a single hair on his head was wet. Why is that?

2. First I threw away the outside and cooked the inside, then I ate the outside and threw away the inside, what did I eat?

3. A boy is walking down the road with a doctor. While the boy is the doctor’s son, the doctor isn’t the boy’s father. Then who is the doctor?

4. Imagine you are in a dark room. How do you get out?


"Puberty is the beginning of major changes in the limbic system," Johnson said, referring to the part of the brain that not only helps regulate heart rate and blood sugar levels, but also is critical to the formation of memories and emotions.

Part of the limbic system, the amygdala is thought to connect sensory information to emotional responses. Its development, along with hormonal changes, may give rise to newly intense experiences of rage, fear, aggression (including toward oneself), excitement and sexual attraction.

Over the course of adolescence, the limbic system comes under greater control of the prefrontal cortex, the area just behind the forehead, which is associated with planning, impulse control and higher order thought.

As additional areas of the brain start to help process emotion, older teens gain some equilibrium and have an easier time interpreting others. But until then, they often misread teachers and parents, Feinstein said.

"You can be as careful as possible and you still will have tears or anger at times because they will have misunderstood what you have 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.

Rec Night!

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. He is bald

2. Corn and the Cob

3. The Mother

4. Stop imagining

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