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October 2018 Newsletter


October 2018

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” Booker T. Washington,

Employee of the Month

Hanrahan Youth Services would like to recognize Taylor Barron as our Employee of the Month for September.

Taylor has been working at our head office in Brampton as an Administrative Assistant since October of 2017, and has provided much need support to our Operations Manager, Directors, and Foster Care Support Worker on a daily basis over this past year. She has also stepped up to provide vacation/time-off coverage for our Operations Manager when necessary.

Although Taylor has her own distinctive duties, she is always willing to lend a helping hand wherever it is needed to ensure that things run smoothly. She genuinely cares about the agency, the residents we serve, and our staff and foster parents. Her welcoming and friendly personality is always a breath of fresh air to those working with her.

Congratulations Taylor!

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 and Goodluck to all our youth who are moving onto college this fall!

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!


Marijuana Legalization:

Please Remind your youth Marijuana Legalization is not LEGAL until the 17th of October and please remind youth that the age for LEGAL marijuana use is 19.

Marijuana is still not permitted on premises! Please stress this to the youth.

Go over the safety importance with not getting into vehicles with people they know who are under the influence.

Go over with them the safety and no vehicle driving if they are under the influence. Don’t forget to double check that the youth are not bringing this into the homes.

Terminology Changes:

Crow Ward -> Extended Society Care

Society Ward -> Interim Society Care

Apprehension -> Brought into a Place of Safety

Indian & Native Children -> First Nation, Inuit and Metis Children and Youth

Extended family -> Expanded Definition

Dealing with Matters -> Dealing with children

He /She -> They / Person / Child/ Youth

Runaway/ Abandoned -> No Longer Used


Erin Hurley and her family along with Liza’s family will be running in Liza’s memory on September 30th, 2018 for the CIBC Run for the Cure for Breast Cancer on the team LIZA’S LEGACY and The EAST COAST CRUISERS.

The Hurley Family’s brought in just over $550.00

The team brought in over $6000.00

A number of staff and Foster Parents make donations on an annual basis in her memory and it is in Alliston.

Fall House Maintenance

As the seasons begin to change from the warmth of summer into the crispness of fall, memories made across the summer shouldn’t be the only thing on our minds. Friendly reminder that furnace filters need to be changed as well as all battery operated smoke alarms/carbon dioxide detectors should be tested changed and if any concerns, brought to the attention of your resource worker/manager.

While the leaves change and fall to leave a lovely scene of colours, please ensure that yards are raked and eavesdrops are free from leaves and tree debris as we prep for the next season on hand. Invite your youth to pump some muscle with you during your yard clean up!

September Special Days

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), also referred to in America as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

Breast cancer awareness month is a yearly campaign that intend educate people about the importance of early screening, test and more. This campaign starts on October 1st and ends on October 31st every year.

Thanksgiving- October 8th 2018

Thanksgiving Day in Canada has been a holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957. It is a chance for people to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year. Thanksgiving Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Thanksgiving Festivities

On Monday the 8th of October, Canada is privileged to celebrate Thanksgiving. This festivities of fall truly come alive during this time – baked pumpkin pie, turkey, falling leaves, apples and cinnamon, and the pleasant aroma of fire wood burning tracing through the air. Although this is a gorgeous time of year, it can also be very sensitive as it is often a time shared with family and very close friends. For many of our residents, they do not have families of their own to go home to.

Every year HYS ensures all foster homes and group homes have a warm and satisfying thanksgiving dinner with their residents. Many of our foster parents go above and beyond to ensure their kids feel a sense of belonging. Please ensure you are planning and preparing a Thanksgiving celebration with your residents, even if they do go home. Monday will be a public holiday, and many schools in Peel have a PD day on Friday so there is plenty of time and space to make available.

Don’t wait until last minute to buy a turkey! Get your orders in now, and plan something lovely for your kids to be part of. If you have your own family functions, bring your kids along with you! This is a great way to build stability in their lives and to make sure they feel accepted and loved.

Ontario Dress Purple Day- October 24th 2018

Every October Children’s Aid Societies across the province raise awareness about the rights of children and youth to safety and well-being, and the responsibility of adults and community services to help children, youth, and families who need support. On Ontario Dress Purple Day we join together with our key partners, Boards of Education, schools, and child care centres and homes, to share this positive message that help is available and to celebrate the community that cares for kids and families.

This year Ontario Dress Purple Day will take place on Wednesday, October 24, 2018.

To support Ontario Dress Purple Day and its focus on getting and giving help, we are providing online classroom resources to help teachers and education professionals make the day a meaningful and engaging learning opportunity for students from JK to Grade 12. The classroom resources are intended to support teachers and education professionals to engage with their students in conversations about safety and well-being in all aspects of their lives, helping adults in the community, and how to ask for help.

Halloween- October 31st 2018

Get your costumes and candy ready to go Trick-or-Treating!

October Events

Free Pumpkin Decorating

October 6, 2018

Garden Square

1 Theatre Lane, Brampton ON,


Brampton Festival Singers

October 9, 2018

Mixed voice community choir repertoire includes choir music, folk music, show songs, spirituals, etc. Two concerts per year are performed at the Rose Theatre in Brampton and the choir appears at other community events and locales. For more information, visit

Haunted Walks Toronto


For a list of haunted walks you can go on and experience haunted stories and places in Toronto with a tour!

Halloween Haunt

Every Weekend in October


Canada’s Wonderland

Face your fears when darkness falls as Canada’s Wonderland is transformed from a “theme park” into a “scream park” during Halloween Haunt. Experience the thrills of your favourite rides at night and the frights awaiting you in our terrifying haunted attractions and shows. You won’t be able to hide from the hundreds of monsters waiting to feed off your screams. Halloween Haunt is the largest Halloween event in the Greater Toronto Area, taking place on select nights this fall. Don’t miss the fright of your life!.

Toronto South African Film Festival

October 14-15, 2018

TIFF Lightbox, 350 King St W, Toronto

The Toronto South African Film Festival (TSAFF) returns on October 14th for its fourth consecutive year. The not-for-profit festival, showcases a variety of South African themed films and documentaries. Hosted at the Bell Tiff Lightbox, the Festival aims to shed light on South Africa’s rapidly maturing film and television industry and to raise funds for South African and Canadian children’s educational charities.

Toronto Blue Jays Games

October 2018

Email Head Office for availability on blue jays tickets and attend a fun day at the ball game!

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!

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 has a mouth, but cannot eat; moves, but has no legs; and has a bank, but cannot put money in it?


Vaping is a ‘major trend’ parents should be concerned about

“They’re doing it in school bathrooms. In locker rooms. In hallways and on school grounds. The most brazen of the students? They’re doing it right inside classrooms. They’re vaping —inhaling vapour from electronic cigarettes that often contain the highly addictive nicotine, lured by devices that are easy to hide from adults and by flavours such as mango, mint and nectar. The most recent data show that three million school-age children —including more than 600,000 middle school students —have tried vaping. Many are concerned that it could be a gateway to stronger substances, such as regular cigarettes or marijuana.

For many teens, it has become the latest way to look and feel cool. Go to YouTube and you’ll find plenty of videos of teens talking about vaping, about being suspended for vaping, or providing lessons on doing vaping tricks —such as making O’s with the vapour. It’s now the most commonly used tobacco product among young people. Parents, often, are in the dark —fooled in part by devices that look like everyday items such as flash drives and pens. Many have never even heard of vaping —or JUULing, as it’s commonly known among teens. “It’s a pretty big problem,” said John Sobah, 16, a junior at Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township and a member of a teen council that works to educate students about the dangers of vaping and other substance abuse. “I’ve seen a lot of people vaping. ... It happens at every school.” It’s increasingly becoming a nemesis of school administrators, who are beefing up policies and treating students who get caught vaping the same they would students who are caught with regular cigarettes. Many are bringing in outside experts to educate students and parents, while others are creating their own prevention programs. In some districts nationwide, school officials have removed doors from bathroom stalls to deter students from vaping. And it’s troubling experts who worry about the health effects of the products on the growing brains of teens. There’s already data showing that in addition to using the devices to vape nicotine, youth are using them to vape marijuana. The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently declared vaping use among youths an epidemic, threatened to crack down on companies that target their products at young people and launched a campaign to curb use among youths. The U.S. Surgeon General in a 2016 report said it is a major public health concern.”

The Toronto Star.

Future Training Opportunities

HYS is continuing to look at expanding its training schedule. If a member of staff or foster parent is aware of any particular training that they feel would improve the level of care that we provide our youth, please bring it to the attention of your manager or supervisor. The possibility of providing such training will then be further explored.

Crisis & Trauma Institution Inc. (CTRI) offers a wide range of training opportunities covering areas such as working with adolescents with mental health, substance abuse additions, gender identity issues, eating disorders, and much more. These public workshops are designed to be interactive in nature.

HYS strongly encourages all staff to make good use of this opportunity to grow with their learning and professional development.

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 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. A River

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