June 2018 Newsletter
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” Charles Dickens
Employee of the Month
Hanrahan Youth Services would like to acknowledge Hakeem Badmus as Mays Employee/Foster Parent of the month. Hakeem began fostering with Hanrahan Youth Services in October of 2015, and has displayed great efforts through the years not only as a Foster Parent but also working one-to-ones, working as a relief staff, and helping in the group homes. He works wherever needed and does so with a hardworking attitude. Hakeem is always willing to lend a helping hand with a cheery attitude. Hakeem has been known to work and live with the more hard to serve ISA’s and has done so greatly and with full dedication, providing the best care for his youth.
Hakeem, keep up the good work!
HYS would also like congratulate one of our residents who received student of the month at their high school, and for competing in the Special Olympics in Peterborough!
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!
June Special Days
June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Month
For millions of people around the world, the most traumatic events of their lives have never ended. PTSD is a lingering reminder that turns everyday into a potential minefield, with flashbacks and triggers potentially hidden around every corner. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month is dedicated to raiding awareness about this life-long struggle and the people it affects, how each of us can help make their lives just a little easier.
June is Toronto’s third annual Pride Month
Pride Month 2018 will see the return of long-standing hallmarks of Pride, including the Street fair, Pride Parade, Dyke March and the world’s largest Trans* pride march. In addition, there will be a full slate of cultural and affiliate events, human rights panels, community and festival stages, and more.
Pride Toronto announced today the official dates of its 38th annual Pride Festival happening from June 22 to 24, 2018. Toronto’s third annual Pride Month starts June 1 with the Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall.
Fathers Day-June 17th 2018
First Day of Summer- June 21st 2018
Free BeaverTail Day
June 1st 2018
from 2pm to 4pm, a select number of store locations across Canada (including Toronto’s Waterfront location) will be giving away unlimited free Classic Cinnamon & Sugar pastries.
June 2nd- 3rd 2018
Riverdale ArtWalk is a FREE two-day, public fine art exhibition showcasing established and emerging artists in Jimmie Simpson Park and Community Centre in Toronto’s flourishing Queen East arts district. The first outdoor art show of Toronto’s season, the Riverdale ArtWalk is a great place to connect with artists and buy that perfect piece that you love!
CAST Pride Celebration
30 Isabella Street, Auditortium
Free for all children and youth, and families served by CAST.
Many Activities, food, performers, contact head office for a form to nominate one of your youth who identify as these courageous young people so that we can honour and celebrate their leadership with a CAS of Toronto PRIDE Youth Award.
Pre-Register by June 15th at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/cas-toronto-pride-celebration-2018-tickets-46077898234
Toronto Blue Jays Games
The Toronto Blue Jays have many home games in the month of June. Check your email for blue jays tickets and attend a fun day at the ball game!
Summer is here!
Summer is finally here! It’s most people's favorite time of the year. School is out, the weather is warm and it's time to relax and recharge.
It is a fantastic time for families to reconnect and unplug together. Make an 'unplug pact' and see if you can all take a break from all electronics together at least once a day. Kids need to break away from the computer/electronics during the summer and to participate in other activities.
What will you do to celebrate the changing of seasons and longest day of the year?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Write a Summertime Activity List Have each person write down activities they would like to do over the summer on index cards, draw one each day or every time they say "I'm bored!"
Spoon Up Some Ice Cream One of the quintessential summer symbols is ice cream. Make the first day of summer even better by stopping by your favorite ice cream place or setting up a make-your-own sundae bar for dessert.
Freshen Up Your Home Perhaps spring cleaning got away from you. Let the official change of seasons be your cue to freshen up the look of everyone’s room.
Have a Picnic Celebrate the first night of summer with a dinnertime picnic.
Play Ball Set a trend for an active summer and organize a softball game with family and friends.
Camp Out Kick off summer with a night under the stars. Go camping or hang out in your backyard. Do traditional fun camping things like grilling hot dogs and telling ghost stories.
Enjoy a Summer-themed Feast What's your favorite summertime treat? Maybe it's BBQ ribs, burgers, s'mores or fresh fruits and veggies. Combine them in a meal that's a toast to the season.
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. A man is looking at a photograph of someone. His friend asks who it is. The man replies, “Brothers and sisters, I have none. But that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who was in the photograph?
2. What has hands but can not clap?
3. I’m tall when I’m young and I’m short when I’m old. What am I?
4. Using only addition, how do you add eight 8’s and get the number 1000?
DID YOU KNOW?...
Various emotional disorders such as depression etc. are common in teenage. A few of the disorders may not be manifested at this age as the frontal lobe is still under-construction. Their peers may not have the necessary skills to provide the right support when it’s needed. Hence, an open communication between the teenager and the adult, and due attention is a must. As the University of Pennsylvania neurologist, Frances E Jensen has aptly put, “We expect a little bit more out of adolescents than we should, given where their brains are”. We must ensure that we go easy on the teens. A little more understanding and patience will go a long way in helping the teenager move ahead in life with ease
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. His son
2. A clock
3. A candle
4. 888 + 88 + 8 + 8 + 8 = 1000.