July 2018 Newsletter
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan
Employee of the Month
Hanrahan Youth Services would like to acknowledge Christine Byrne as Employee/Foster Parent of the Month.
Christine is celebrating 9 years with Hanrahan Youth Services this month, congratulations on that milestone! Christine has fostered many youth both male and female in the past 9 years, and has done so with great care and providing a very comfortable and maternal relationship within her home. Christine is always going above and beyond for her youth, providing them with fresh cooked meals, going out to enjoy her son's hockey games, and always make them feel apart of her family. The youth in her home show her complete respect and have a great connection with Christine that displays when you are in their home.
Christine’s child and youth worker notes that she is always trying to improve on her reports, putting in her best efforts and makes sure that the boys attend all appointments and meetings and is their biggest advocate. She is full of positive energy and always pushing them to do better.
Good Job Christine, Keep up the good work!
HYS would also like to congratulate Hakeem Badmus and his wife Rashida on their newborn baby boy, Naseer Badmus who was born June 25th!
HYS would like to shout out John Coles for the pride he takes in his yard, including the lawn always being cut and looking fresh and the work he has put into his garden. The front yard looks great and perfect for summer. Keep up the great work, John!
HYS would like to send a big Congratulations to Natasha James as she is celebrating 15 years with Hanrahan Youth Services on July 15th!
Happy Birthday to Brian Barron as he celebrates his 50th birthday on July 26th.
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!
July Special Days
Canada Day- July 1st 2018
Far from a celebration of independence, Canada Day marks the anniversary of Canada being united into one country as part of the British Empire, combining the three areas of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a shiny new package. No longer a dominion of the UK but a proud member of the Commonwealth, Canada still retains the Queen as its head of state, putting Liz’s face on their dollars.
World Forgiveness Day- July 7th, 2018
A day to forgive and be forgiven, Forgiveness Day is a chance to set things right. Put aside old differences, move beyond grievances and hurts and start afresh.
World Youth Skills Day- July 15th 2018
The aim of World Youth Skills Day is to encourage youth to celebrate the value of acquiring skills like building, making, and creating as a way to achieve personal success and fulfillment.
World Day against Trafficking in Persons- July 30th 2018
World day against Trafficking in Persons is an annual event. People trafficking and modern day slavery is a massive worldwide problem with very few countries immune to human trafficking, and the event by the United Nations is to raise awareness and increase prevention of that.
Canada Day Celebrations
July 1st, 2018
Chinguacousy Park, Brampton
On July 1, Brampton Celebrates Canada Day draws thousands of Bramptonians from across the city to celebrate Canada’s birthday! The celebration at Chinguacousy Park will run from morning to night.
Come and enjoy internationally acclaimed and local live entertainment, participate in the many fun family activities and enjoy the various food vendors.
Make sure to stick around for the spectacular fireworks show!
Check out the agenda online for all activities happening during the celebration.
Canada Day in Toronto
Canada Day celebrations in Fort York
Canada Day celebrations at Downsview Park
Bring your friends, family, and neighbours out for a fun-filled afternoon and evening
World Forgiveness Day Candlelight Vigil
July 7th, 2018
Ken Whillans Square, Brampton
Staring at 8PM
Saturday July 7, 2018, is world forgiveness day and I want the women of the Brampton and the Greater Toronto Area [GTA] to join me for a candlelight vigil dedicated to women and girls whose lives have been touched by violence. Starting at 8 pm at Ken Whillians Square in front of Brampton city hall, we will open a vibrational door and send out a wave of forgiveness into the world. We will hear women's stories of overcoming. We will laugh and learn the art of forgiveness. By candlelight, we will do a mass forgiveness of all the men in the world who have brought violence into our lives. Invite a friend. Yes, men are welcome.
Pride in the Square
July 8th, 2018
12:00 pm- 5:00 pm
Garden Square, Brampton
Celebrate Brampton's first annual Pride In The Square! Experience art, performance, and family-friendly programming. Listen to Drag Storytime by Fay & Fluffy, browse a variety of community exhibitors, and enjoy live entertainment all afternoon. Celebrate the vibrant LGBTTIQQ2SA communities of Brampton this summer
A Symposium for black/African Canadian youth in care
July 10th-11th 2018
Toronto Sheraton Airport Hotel
This event is about helping Black youth in care to feel welcomed, connected and part of a larger Black/African Canadian community by building knowledge of our collective past, present and future
-Email head office for further details
Paint Nite at the Zoo
Every Thursday at The Toronto Zooo
A night of painting and, conservation and channeling your creative side. All paintings will feature a species from the Toronto Zoo and the night will begin with a special visit from Toronto Zoo Wildlife Care who will speak to the painting subject of the night. Event includes painting supplies and instruction from Paint Nite, admission to the Zoo as of 5:00pm, with painting instruction beginning at 6:30pm. Parking is $12 and food and beverage will be available for sale. Tickets can be purchased online at torontozoo.com
July 20th- July 22nd, 2018
995 Lake Shore Blvd, West. Toronto
New to Cravings Food Co.’s summer festival lineup this year, Pizza Fest will celebrate everything Italian especially, of course, everyone’s favourite food — pizza!
The much-anticipated event will touch down in July and will see a citywide showdown to crown Toronto’s best slice, but it’s not all about pizza. Italian favourites like fresh pasta and meatballs will be in abundance
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. Which seven-letter word contains dozens of letters?
2. I have keys without key locks. I have space without rooms. You can enter but you cannot go outside. What am I?
3. I have six faces and twenty-one eyes, yet I can not see. What am I?
4. Find four consecutive letters in the alphabet which can be rearranged to spell a common word.
DID YOU KNOW?...
How Does Social Media Affect a Teen's Brain and their Overall Mental Health and Development?
· Writing posts and receiving positive reinforcement from peers can become addicting, which leads to children spending more and more time on the internet. According to The New York Times, kids from ages eight to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day on electronic devices. This has led to teens receiving insufficient sleep, which can further lead to developing a myriad of mental health issues such anxiety and increased irritability.
· Researchers have found that teens can actually show symptoms similar to drug withdrawal when removed from their social media connections.
· The urge to constantly record and share everything we experience actually has an impact on our brain activity. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says our brains enter into a state of relaxation and rest when we become absorbed in an activity. Our brains shift to alpha waves and this flow, as it is called, has been linked to learning and talent development. Stopping to take photos and make posts disrupts this flow. Teens get cut off from the experience of taking in their moments as they share them.
· The anonymous aspect of the online experience can have a positive impact as well. That anonymity makes it easier to find help for social problems online where there is no stigma attached. There are also strong social and mental benefits to online interactions when there are genuine connections and dialogue rather than flaunting a false persona and comparing lifestyles. Just having someone listen to you is noted as being a good way to raise confidence and self-esteem.
· There can be a benefit to the strong influence of the Internet. A teen may see positive traits being liked and shared, such as healthy eating or academic success. A teen may then be motivated to follow those trends. A look at the effects of social media on teens highlights the fact that voter participation went up when people saw posts of their friends voting.
· In moderation, social networking can give teens more, not less, opportunities to "speak." Those who suffer from mental illness are often reluctant to speak to those close to them. The Internet can offer social relief and remove the sense of isolation.
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. A mailbox!
2. A keyboard