September 2018 Newsletter
"Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others." Martin Luther King Jr.,
Employee of the Month
Hanrahan Youth Services would like to acknowledge Tasha Bascom as Employee of the Month.
Tasha is an employee who started working with Hanrahan Youth Services in September of 2016. She works with two of our clients who have disabilities, she is very reliable and always coming to work with them with a positive attitude. Tasha always ensures their safety, as she works with them with great compassion and has built a good connection with them. She helps with appointments when needed and is very committed to her work.
Tasha is not only great hands on with the youth, but is very organized and goes above and beyond to fix things in the house when she is working. She is constantly going beyond and exemplifying hard work.
Great Job Tasha, Keep up the good work!
The New School Year is sneaking in and we should be on top of all plans for our youth! Make sure to contact and get anything needed for school registration for youth from their workers!
The Youth should be taken out to get new clothing for the new school year, please discuss with workers. School supplies should also be purchased for the beginning of school.
Please make sure that all homes are to be clean, licensable and up to standards on a daily basis. Note that ALL property standards are the responsibility of the foster parents- the yard and the home are both important.
Congratulations to our Foster Parent Sage, happiest congratulations on your wedding!
Congratulations and Goodluck to all our youth who are moving onto college this fall!
A big thank you to the staff that brought the residents from Fernbank to Albion Hills on their annual camping trip! It looked like a blast!
Hanrahan Youth Services would like to acknowledge and send a farewell to Khadijat, who has been working at our Morning Dew Residence. A big thank you for everything you have done and put into HYS!
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!
September Special Days
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
One child with cancer is too many. During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September and all throughout the year, we care about every single child living with cancer and their families. We understand the toll that cancer can take. At the Canadian Cancer Society, because of our donors, we continue to invest in Canada’s best childhood cancer research. We are Canada’s largest national charitable funder of childhood cancer research.
Labour Day- September 3rd, 2018
Labour Day in Canada is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It originally gave workers the chance to campaign for better working conditions or pay. The day is now part of a long weekend for many Canadians. Enjoy your long weekend!
World Suicide Prevention Day- September 10th 2018
World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), on 10 September, is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). WHO has been co-sponsor of the day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.
In past years, over 300 activities in around 70 countries were reported to IASP, including educational and commemorative events, press briefings and conferences, as well as Facebook and Twitter coverage.
World Heart Day- September 29th 2018
Heart Day is part of an international campaign to spread awareness about heart disease and stroke prevention. This is the perfect day to quit smoking, get exercising and start eating healthy – all in the name of keeping your ticker in good working order, and improving the health and well being of people the world over.
Terry Fox walk
160 Main Street South
The Terry Fox Run is an annual non-competitive charity event held in numerous regions around the world in commemoration of Canadian cancer activist Terry Fox, and his Marathon of Hope, and to raise money for cancer research. Everyone is welcome to participate in a Terry Fox Run, regardless of age, athletic ability or socio-economic standing. While the Run does not have an entry fee or minimum donation we do ask all participants to fundraise or make a donation. You can raise funds online, use a pledge sheet or make a donation at the Run site. Whatever your choice, please know that every dollar counts.
Brampton Fall Book Fest
Shoppers World, 499 Main Street
September 29, 2018
The Brampton Fall Book Fest will feature ten self-published authors and spoken word artists reading from their work at a mini-festival style event at Shoppers World. Books will be available for sale. Contact Amanda Leduc at email@example.com for more information.
Kensington Market Jazz Fest
September 14-16, 2018
Jazz concerts pop up in various Kensington Market locations, giving you a taste of some of the best jazz the city has to offer. Molly Johnson, Ori Dagan, Genevieve Marentette are among some of the performers.
September 27th-30th, 2018
12:00 pm- 10:00 pm
The Markham Fair is one of the Canada oldest country fairs. Since 1844 the fair has been providing the community with a showcase for talents and products in a friendly competitive spirit. With over 700 volunteers working on more than 70 committees, Markham Fair us the largest community based volunteer organization in Canada.
WE Day Family Toronto
September 20th, 2018
Scotiabank Arena, 50 Bay Street- Suite 500, Toronto
WE Day Family Toronto is a stadium-sized event bringing together world-renowned speakers, award-winning performers and moving stories of real families who’ve committed to making a difference in the causes that matter to them.
Toronto Blue Jays Games
The Toronto Blue Jays have many home games in the month of June. Email Head Office for availability on blue jays tickets and attend a fun day at the ball game!
As Summer break is coming to an end…
It is a fantastic time for everyone 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.
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
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. Every night I'm told what to do, and each morning I do what I'm told. But I still don't escape your scold. What am I?
2. What occurs once in every minute, twice in every moment, but never in a thousand years?
3. The person who makes it, sells it. The person who buys it, doesn't use it. The person who uses it, doesn't know he is using it. What is it?
DID YOU KNOW?...
The Teen Brain: Behavior, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Many parents do not understand why their teenagers occasionally behave in an impulsive, irrational, or dangerous way. At times, it seems like they don’t think things through or fully consider the consequences of their actions. Adolescents differ from adults in the way they behave, solve problems, and make decisions. There is a biological explanation for this difference. Studies have shown that brains continue to mature and develop throughout childhood and adolescence and well into early adulthood.
Scientists have identified a specific region of the brain called the amygdala which is responsible for instinctual reactions including fear and aggressive behavior. This region develops early. However, the frontal cortex, the area of the brain that controls reasoning and helps us think before we act, develops later. This part of the brain is still changing and maturing well into adulthood.
Other specific changes in the brain during adolescence include a rapid increase in the connections between the brain cells and pruning (refinement) of brain pathways. Nerve cells develop myelin, an insulating layer which helps cells communicate. All these changes are essential for the development of coordinated thought, action, and behavior.
Changing Brains Mean that Adolescents Act Differently From Adults
Pictures of the brain in action show that adolescents’ brains function differently than adults when decision-making and problem solving. Their actions are guided more by the amygdala and less by the frontal cortex. Research has also demonstrated that exposure to drugs and alcohol before birth, head trauma, or other types of brain injury can interfere with normal brain development during adolescence.
Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to:
• act on impulse • misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions • get into accidents of all kinds • get involved in fights • engage in dangerous or risky behavior
Adolescents are less likely to:
• think before they act
• pause to consider the potential consequences of their actions • modify their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors
These brain differences don’t mean that young people can’t make good decisions or tell the difference between right and wrong. It also doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions. But an awareness of these differences can help parents, teachers, advocates, and policy makers understand, anticipate, and manage the behavior of adolescents.
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 head office.
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. Alarm clock
2. The letter ‘M’