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April 2018 Newsletter


April 2018

“Kids need a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them” Magic Johnson

Employee of the Month

Hanrahan Youth Services would like to recognize Philmore as employee of the month for January.

Philmore has taken initivative on numerous occasions to step up and help out with staffing in the group-homes. His communication skills are very clear and follows direction. Philmore has showed great responsibility when dealing with on call staff, and displays his continuous hard work with every shift.

Congratulations to Philmore from everyone at HYS!


Congratulations to Paul Santori, who is set to be married on April 23rd!

HYS would like to involve you in ‘Webinar Wednesday’s’ Paul will be sending out a Webinar each week for staff and Foster Parents to take part in. A $25.00 gift card will be given out weekly as incentive for the most detailed feedback/observations/commentary to the Webinar series.

Please note* Head office is to be closed Good Friday, March 30th and Easter Monday, April 2nd.

Head office is now located at 28 Malcolm Crescent, Brampton.

For the Year 2018, we would like to update our Hanrahan Family board, take an updated photo of the youths and send it to Taylors email or bring it by head office!

Easter Long Weekend Visitations

Just a reminder that if any of the residents plan on having visitations over the Easter long weekend, they need to be planned out properly. Obtain permission from their workers, clearly communicate the details with the family and your resource worker/manager, make daily check-ins a priority and for group homes, ensure that visitation logs are being completed.

For the residents who will be staying back for the long weekend, please ensure that they have a nice dinner with the other residents and the foster parent/staff at some point to celebrate the holiday. Plan some activities/outings with them and be sure to purchase some chocolate/Easter treats to give to them on Sunday.

April Special Days

April is Garden Month

Spring is coming on strong, and by the calendar is technically already here. If you haven’t already begun looking at planting this year’s garden it’s time to get a move on. The changing weather promises good growing seasons to come, and Garden Month encourages you to get out and start preparing your ground! If you can’t find the motivation, then let the smell and taste of freshly grown tomatoes tempt you, or the sweet taste you can’t get from anything from home grown cucumbers, and strawberries. Garden Month is your chance to get out and start preparing the ground!

Easter – April 1

Easter Sunday in Canada celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection after his death, which is described in the Christian Bible. Some people observe Easter Sunday by attending church while others spend time with their families and friends or engage in Easter egg activities.

World Autism Awareness Day – April 2

Autism affects approximately 1 out of every 150 children around the world. It is a neural development disorder that affects their ability to socialize normally by impacting their abilities to utilize verbal and non-verbal communication. Since 2012, there has been a 30% increase in the amount of children being affected with autism, and World Autism Awareness Day helps to bring awareness to this growing health concern.

Rather than having one distinguishing characteristic, Autism is indicated by the coming together of three separate symptoms. The triad includes difficulty socializing, problems in communication, and a limited number of interests combined with repetitive behavior. It is no longer classified as a single disorder, but rather an entire spectrum ranging in severity. Autism is the core of all of these syndromes, with its features being prevalent to varying degrees throughout, and includes a number of disorders, with one of the most common being Asperger’s.

Asperger Syndrome is signified by the presence of Autism symptoms with no impairment of language development. Asperger Syndrome often leads to problems with social interaction with their peers. Common body language queues are often lost on those who suffer from AS. It is not uncommon to hear them speak of their frustrations with non-Asperger people, as huge chunks of the conversation just seem utterly lost on them. Things such as tone, context, and sarcasm have to be considered very carefully, and their frustration with communication often stems from this and other social queues. However, much like anyone on the Autistic spectrum, they will present with areas of intelligence that are much stronger than that of others. These areas tend to be in the reading, language, music, or spatial skills, occasionally manifesting to such a degree that they may fall into the “gifted” range in those areas. This seems to be counterbalanced by significant delays in other areas of development.

Hanrahan Youth Services receives numerous referrals for youth who fall on the Autism spectrum, and quite often for youth who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s. We would like to encourage our staff and foster parents to read up more on Autism as it could prove beneficial in perhaps gaining a further understanding of the difficulties, challenges, and joys of the youth who come to us with this diagnosis. Even better, attending a training session could most certainly help to better serve those particular youth.

World Health Day – April 7

World Health Day is celebrated every year on the founding day of the World Health Organization. Through its efforts, we have seen the eradication of small pox, and its focus then turned to communicable diseases, with a particular focus on tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Each year, there is a theme to draw attention to a current world health issue. The theme for 2017 is Depression, which a number of our clients have been diagnosed with. Check out their website at for further information.

April Events

Expressive Writing Workshop

Are you writing poetry, fiction or a memoir? Or maybe you'd like to start writing but don't know where to start? Join this free writing workshop to hone your skills and receive feedback in a supportive environment. Call to register.

Evelyn Gregory Library

120 Trowell Ave., Toronto


Youth Photo Contest

Are you passionate about photography? Do you have talent that you want the world to see? Now is your chance! We're excited to announce our first ever

Youth Photo Contest as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival, geared to the talented Kids & Teens (ages 8–17) of Toronto! Prizes are valued at over $2,000 so submit your best 5 shots by April 13!Garden Square, Brampton

25 Toronto St., Suite 200, Toronto

April 13th

Crack Me Up Comedy

April 21st, 2018

Brampton Rose Theatre

Meet up with friends for a fun night of stand-up comedy in the intimate Rose Theatre Studio. Each show includes an MC and a variety of local comedians with one thing in common: they’re hilarious!

Friday Folk Night

Sanderson Hall, 30 Main St. South Brampton

Friday April 27th, 2018

Watershed Wide Cleanup- Heartlake Road

Spring is here!

March 20th marks the first day of Spring!

Perfect time to do some spring cleaning both inside the home (including the garage) and out! Get the whole group involved and de-clutter. Having everyone join in will make a big difference in the workload. To motivate them, try turning up some music or establishing a “reward” for when the work is done.

There are some special chores that need to be done seasonally like cleaning patios and windows. We ignore them for most of the fall and winter, but now it is time to get these things clean. Even though these chores only need to be done once or twice a year, they will help the home look better.

Temperatures are slowly creeping upwards which means that the snow has melted. We ask that staff and foster parents take a walk around the properties to see if there is any garbage laying around that needs to be picked up or any items that may require fixing.

If you need to use the HYS pick-up truck to do garbage-runs, please contact Erin Hurley at head office to book it. We strongly advise that this gets done over the next month or two to prepare for the warmer months

Summer Employment

With the warmer weather slowing approaching, it is time for our foster parents and group home staff to find ways to motivate our youth to use their summer holidays as constructively as possible. If appropriate, and if outlined in our youths’ plans of care, then employment should be an obvious option. Although the summer may seem a long way off, opportunities for summer employment are already in play. One excellent source of information is the website. Another local agency is Job Skills in Brampton which can be accessed at Services available include resume and interview success workshops. Summer job placements begin earlier than you make think, so now is the time to begin researching what’s out there.

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. what does this mean? 1 end 3 end and 7 end

2. What does this say? 10AC

3. What does this say? llA s’ti

4. What is yours to won, yet others use it more?


Due to the increase in brain matter, the teen brain becomes more interconnected and gains processing power, Johnson said. Adolescents start to have the computational and decision-making skills of an adult – if given time and access to information, she said.

But in the heat of the moment, their decision-making can be overly influenced by emotions, because their brains rely more on the limbic system (the emotional seat of the brain) than the more rational prefrontal cortex, explained said Sheryl Feinstein, author of "Inside the Teenage Brain: Parenting a Work in Progress" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009).

"This duality of adolescent competence can be very confusing for parents," Johnson said, meaning that sometimes teens do things, like punch a wall or drive too fast, when, if asked, they clearly know better.

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.

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. odds and ends

2. Tennessee

3. It’s All backwards

4. Your name

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