May 2018 Newsletter
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Employee of the Month
Hanrahan Youth Services would like to acknowledge Paul Santori as April’s Employee/Foster Parent of the Month. Paul first started fostering with Hanrahan Youth Services in June 2003. In these 15 years he continuously displays his care and dedication to being a Foster Parent and HYS employee.
Throughout the past 15 years, Paul has welcomed numerous youth in his home with open arms. He provides guidance, support and the utmost care within his home. Paul welcomes these youth within his own family, making the youth feel comfortable, safe and part of the family as well. Placing agencies have phoned HYS, specifically asking for Paul's home availability, based on previous expericnes in his home. In addition, Paul consistently meets deadlines for appointments, reports and meetings and does so exceeding expectations.
Paul has greatly stepped up as a Child and Youth Worker alongside being a Foster Parent, displaying his hard work with a positive mindset. Paul's level of commitment and his willingness to go above and beyond has been apparent at Main Office as he strives to continuously raise expectations.
Congratulations Paul! Keep up the great work.
HYS would also like to extend a hearty Congratulations to foster parent Paul Santori and his new bride Tracy on their April wedding!
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.
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!
May Special Days
May is Foster Care Month
National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity for people nationwide to get involved as foster parents, volunteers, mentors, employers, or other ways. It’s also an opportunity to show our appreciation for the dedicated families who care for these children and youth, and the social workers who support them. It's a time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Find resources and information to help ensure that their future is bright.
2018 International Child and Youth Care Workers’ Week - May 7th – 13th
Each year, this week recognizes the unique work, contributions and dedication of those in the child and youth care field. HYS encourages our staff and foster parents to celebrate each other and share information about the profession with other professionals in your communities.
We want to thank each and every one of you for all of your hard work and efforts. The social services field most certainly comes with its challenges. Few people go into it for its glory as the rewards are often subtle. Although we strive to make a positive change in the life of every youth who comes our way and we would love to see them all thrive and achieve their goals, the reality is that it doesn’t happen in every case for various reasons that are beyond our control. This is why you need to take the time to relish in that sense of accomplishment when your youth do achieve good outcomes or reach goals that you assisted them in reaching, no matter how insignificant some of those items may seem. The skills you have learned and developed, your patience, the effort you put forth, the way you listen and advise, and the overall way you care for your residents, is all for those moments. Be sure to celebrate them!
Children and Youth in Care Day – May 11th
Children and Youth in Care Day in Ontario is an annual day that recognizes the strength, bravery and resilience shown by young people who have faced adversity throughout their lives.
This day is a reminder of our responsibility to the well-being of children and youth in care but also as a way to showcase their many accomplishments and successes.
Hanrahan Youth Services asks that our staff and foster parents celebrate this day with your youth by going out to dinner or planning a special outing. It is important to take time to recognize their strengths and the progress we’ve seen, as well as the hardships they’ve faced.
Mothers Day- May 13
May 21- Victoria Day Long Weekend
2018 Five14 Talks Theme: Redefining Community
May 11th 2018
Arcadian Loft, Toronto
In response to requests from young people in care to have a greater voice in shaping public perceptions, five14 Talks is an event to celebrate Children and Youth in Care Day and inspire change.
Heart Lake Conservation Area, Brampton
5k, 10k & 20k trails at Heart Lake; Great place to try out trail running or get in some training for longer races; finishes medals, tech shirts, catered food, aid stations. Fee Includes entrance and free parking
Canadian Music Week
May 7-13, 2018
A premier entertainment event, CMW combines industry conference with performance festival. Workshops, talks with leading industry professionals and the Canadian Music Fest with 1,000 bands at more than 60 live music venues in downtown Toronto, rounds out the week.
Carassauga Festivle of Cultures
Carassuga is a three-day cultural event showcasing over 70 countries at different pavilions throughout Mississauga. Travel the world without leaving the city. In each pavilion you will find exotic foods, entertainment and the culture of the country you are visiting. Admission is $10 for an advance Carassauga passport or $12 at the door gives you unlimited access to all 32 pavilions all weekend long plus free ridership on MiWay buses during festival hours. Children 12 and under are free
May Civics Day May 14, 2018 CITY HALL, Toronto
Speaker Booths allowing children and youth in Care to speak about what this day means to you!
Register to particpate Guest Speakers Fun Acitivities! Wear T-shirtsd and buttons to this event that exprss issues which you stand up for! (LGBTQ rights, Mental Health, etc)
TMAYBERRY@OASCAS.ORG for more info
May 24 to June 3
For more than two decades, Inside Out has brought Toronto’s LGBT community together in celebration of the best queer film from Canada and around the world.
Spring is here!
As the warm weather returns, and hopefully stays…It is the 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.
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
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 www.ontario.ca/summerjobs website. Another local agency is Job Skills in Brampton which can be accessed at www.jobskills.org. 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.
Prom / End of the Year Dances
With the year end fast approaching, prom and end of year dances may be on the priority list of your residents. It is important that you support them in all ways necessary to ensure that this is a positive experience for them.
Find out well enough in advance exactly what they are going to need so that you have time to shop around and make the purchases that are required. If they need to purchase tickets, order corsages/boutonnieres, etc., it is best to do it ahead of time. Talk to your manager/resource worker about funding for such items.
Also, please be sure to make arrangements for your youth to be transported to and from their events safely.
Please note that summer school registration in Toronto begins on May 2nd. Peel has not yet specified their date. This is the time to start talking to your youth about what courses they may want to take if necessary.
Use of Bikes
Children will be out on their bicycles and looking to take them to school. Please remind your youth that cyclists are governed by the same rules as drivers, and review safe cycling procedures at home. Be certain that the bicycle is “road worthy” and that they are able to ride it in a safe manner. They should the serial number of their bicycles and make sure they LOCK them in the racks at school to prevent loss. Don’t forget that helmets are a must!
Just for fun, try to solve the following brain teasers. The answers will be at the bottom of the newsletter. Good luck!
1. In a year, there are 12 months. Seven months have 31 days. How many months have 28 days?
2. Which travels faster? Hot or Cold?
3. Im hard all around but sof in the middle. What am i?
4. What do you have to give before you can keep it?
DID YOU KNOW?...
Stress is coming from everywhere. In 2011 most teen stress came from teachers at school. In 2013, pressure from school is still a factor but it’s been joined by pressure from parents and themselves to do well. Pressure to stay up-to-date and present the best possible image on social media is also a source of stress.
There would have been few surprises here for many teachers or parents who are in touch with the lives of young people today. In fact, these findings will confirm much of your experience.
However the thing that stood out for me throughout this process was that young people today live with pressure. ‘They always have,’ I hear you say. Yes, today’s teens worry about their bodies, school, family, friendships and the opposite sex just as they always have. But social networking, the current economic climate and the rate of technological change is adding a new dimension to the pressures that today’s young people experience.
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.
Don’t forget that HYS is providing each youth with a day pass and staff/foster parents can attend to supervise under a complimentary support staff pass.
Things to remember:
· The youth are NOT to attend unsupervised. It is in our contract that they be accompanied.
· Should any youth wish to attend the park more than once, they can take their ticket to Guest Services and upgrade it to a Season Pass by paying the difference.
· Staff/foster parents must attend Guest Services and notify them that you are attending as a ‘Support Staff’. You will need to present the tickets of your youth which will have Hanrahan Youth Services printed on them.
To get passes for your youth and to learn more about the support staff passes, please contact Erin Hurley at our head office.
Brain Teasers answers:
1. They all do
2. Hot, you can catch a cold.
3. A bed
4. Your word