December 2018 Newsletter
"Make each new day count by helping someone or just making someone smile." Catherine Pulsifer
Please ensure that every birthday is acknowledged, including birthday cake, dinner with foster family or group home, gift/gift card.
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.
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!
Please Remind your youth Marijuana Legalization 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.
Crown 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
Not many of us are actually looking forward to the weather getting colder but we have to be well-prepared for the coming winter, we advise you prepare for winter by buying extra non-perishable groceries, appropriate winter clothing, bags of salt, shovels and other important items.
We also want to advise our foster parents and staff to be watching the news regularly for any updates from Environment Canada regarding weather. It is important that we are well prepared for the winter! In addition to this, please ensure your residents have the appropriate winter clothing attire such as snow boots, winter coats, mittens, hats and scarves.
Before the snow starts to really fall, make sure to rake the leaves up as they kill the grass. Also a reminder for foster parents and managers to take a walk around their homes to ensure everything is properly insulated for the winter. Everyone needs to make sure that shovelling and salting is done on a regular basis for safety issues. Please be mindful in the homes about having the heat up with the windows open.
Christmas time is upon us, and it’s time to get holly and jolly! We want to make sure that every home will have a Christmas tree and decorations, as making everyone feel at home and in the Holiday spirit! Alongside with having decorations, a full Holiday dinner with all residents needs to be planned and made. Regardless of religion of the Foster Parent homes decorations and tree should be up. A Christmas dinner should be planned before the any of the youth leave for home visits.
For Holiday Allowance; find out what the youths would like, purchase the gifts, wrap them and if they are going on a home visit, the gifts are to be sent home with them and opened on Christmas.
If planning home visits make sure planned well in advance, to make sure all plans go over smoothly.
December Special Days
December 1st 2018
World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.
December 10th 2018
Human Rights Day
Every so often a thing comes to pass that is of such astounding importance that we must stand up and recognize it. We must place this thing on the pedestal it deserves, and ensure that the precepts and policies put in place by it are adhered to, appreciated, and spread as far as the human voice will carry. Such is the sort of message sent by Human Rights Day.
How to Celebrate Human Rights Day The first and foremost way to celebrate Human Rights Day is to take some time to appreciate the effect that this resolution has had on your world and life. Look around your neighborhood and see the effects on a local scale, the charitable works being done to promote the health and well-being of those who are less fortunate.
December 25th 2018
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
December 31st 2018
New Years Eve
Celebrate and dance as the New Year of 2019 rings in!
Brampton 2040 Vision Youth Symposium & Social
December 1, 2018 Brampton City Hall - 2 Wellington Street West
Calling all high school students and future visionaries! The City is holding its first Brampton 2040 Vision Youth Symposium and social event. This will be a great opportunity to debate, deliberate, and have a say in how your city will grow by 2040. This is a full-day session that will include free breakfast and lunch, presentations, workshop sessions, performances and more. After the symposium, there will be a social from 5 – 8 pm. Join us to contribute your bright ideas. Please note that a laptop is required. Register on Eventbrite or contact Tristan Costa (email@example.com) for more details.
Brampton Rose Theatre
Saturday November 3, 2018
You meet the nicest people at momondays! Put story-telling into a blender. Add a dash of personal growth & transformation. Then drop in a load of laughs. Mix in real, live music, and great conversation with some of the nicest people on the planet, then push the ‘high’ setting… and out comes momondays! http://www.brampton.ca/sites/Rose-Theatre/en/Events-And-Tickets/Pages/ShowDetails.aspx?ShowID=1463&ShowDate=12/17/2018
Caring Across Boundaries: A Photography Exhibition First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada
9 Wellington St. East
December 15, 2018
Discover some positive ways to be engaged in Reconciliation in the Caring Across Boundaries exhibition. Curated by Aboriginal child rights advocate Cindy Blackstock, it features Liam Sharp’s photographs of daily life in three First Nations Communities.
SOUND OF MUSIC SING-ALONG
1 Theatre Lane, Brampton
December 09, 2018
Enjoy a special sing-along screening of The Sound of Music, one of the most successful movie musicals of all time, at The Rose. This is your chance to dress up, yodel in public, and belt out a chorus of My Favourite Things with Julie Andrews, and the whole audience.
BRAMPTON CONCERT BAND: CHRISTMAS AT THE ROSE
Saturday, December 08, 2018
1 Theatre Lane , Brampton
The Brampton Concert Band’s mission is to provide a creative outlet where local musicians can express themselves. Joined by St. Roch’s choir for their annual Christmas show at The Rose, Brampton Concert Band performs a joyous collection of holiday favourites for the whole family
New Years Eve
Monday, December 31, 2018
#NewYearEve in #Brampton at Bovaird Banquet Hall Best event in the city!! Lots of fun, amazing performances and great food!! Kids - below 11 years $40 Adults - $60 Group of 10 - $550 For tickets and sponsorships, contact 647 344 5566 or 647-707-4381 to book or visit www.pgaii.com
Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade
December 1st, 2018
Santa visits Etobicoke —and there is a parade in his honor! A tradition since 1991, the Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade has been getting bigger and better every year. The parade begins at Dwight Avenue and heads west along Lakeshore Blvd. West. Top off the fun-filled event with a few turns on the ice rink with Santa at Samuel Smith Park.
Toronto Christmas Market
November 15-December 23 2018
The Toronto Christmas Market takes over the Distillery Historic District for another year of holiday magic and romance. Now in its eighth year, the market has become one of the city’s favourite holiday traditions, ranked one of the world's best Christmas markets by Fodor’s Travel, USA Today, Mashable and more. Take in sparkling Christmas light canopies, traditional music and carols, dance performances and family-friendly activities like Santa's House, a ferris wheel, carousel and life-sized gingerbread house. Foodies can taste traditional European street-style food as well as Canadian holiday treats and sip on cold and warm brews in the beer gardens.
This year's Toronto Christmas Market offers Christmas-inspired activities for the whole family to enjoy. With one of the city's largest real Christmas trees, magical lighting and seasonal decor, more than 350 stage performances, unique and locally handcrafted products and, of course, Santa and his elves.
The Toronto Zoo's Animal Enrichment Feedings
Every Saturday and Sunday
Join us this holiday season as our animals celebrate the season with the Toronto Zoo’s 12 Days of Enrichment! Why not enjoy some special time with friends and family with indoor pavilions, scenic walking trails and some adorable zoo babies born in 2018.
The Toronto Zoo’s Behavioural Husbandry Program is designed to provide enrichment and training experiences that mimic an animal’s natural behaviour and provide mental stimulation as well as choice within their environments. These experiences can include various puzzle feeders, novel substrates, and unique scents which encourage our animals to exhibit natural behaviours and as a result are a benefit to the animals overall health and welfare.
Join us and find out more about why enrichment is important and experience our animal family receiving their very own holiday treats! Don’t forget to drop off your old electronics at our Phone Apes Station at the front entrance.
On behalf of the Toronto Zoo Staff and our over 5,000 animals, we wish you and yours the very merriest for the holiday season and in 2019!
The Cold Weather is Here!
The cold is not something to look forward to…But these fun activities in the winter are!
Go Skating There are plenty of indoor and outdoor facilities for skating in the GTA, including some really fun outdoor spots: skate under the lights at Nathan Phillips Square's famous outdoor ice rink; the Natrel Rink at Harbourfront is one of Toronto's favourite outdoor rink for lacing up; Cedarena in Markham is a 75 year old outdoor rink in the Rouge Valley surrounded by trees; Gage Park’s beautiful lights and outdoor rink are something to see; Chinguacousy Skate Trail; or try Mel Lastman Square Skating in North York. Prefer to skate where it's warm? Toronto4Kids has a complete listing of Indoor Arenas in the Greater Toronto Area and other great spots for skating.
Build a Snowman Dress your snowman an old Halloween costume or used clothing. Use drops of food coloring to make colorful streaks through the snowman. Have contests to see who can make their snowman look the best.
Tobogganing Sliding downhill is an exhilarating activity! You can use sleds, tobogganing carpets, or toboggans. Scout out a good, safe hill to conquer with that toboggan you've been storing in the garage!
Go on a Winter Hike
Go outside and get some physical activity while bundled up! Go on a nice hike in a park or in the woods and take pictures, and spot animal tracks.
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 pushes his car to a hotel and tells the owner he’s bankrupt. Why?
2. 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?
DID YOU KNOW?...
Stress Management and Teens
Teenagers, like adults, may experience stress everyday and can benefit from learning stress management skills. Most teens experience more stress when they perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful and they do not have the resources to cope. Some sources of stress for teens might include:
school demands and frustrations
negative thoughts and feelings about themselves
changes in their bodies
problems with friends and/or peers at school
unsafe living environment/neighborhood
separation or divorce of parents
chronic illness or severe problems in the family
death of a loved one
moving or changing schools
taking on too many activities or having too high expectations
family financial problems
Some teens become overloaded with stress. When it happens, inadequately managed stress can lead to anxiety, withdrawal, aggression, physical illness, or poor coping skills such as drug and/or alcohol use.
When we perceive a situation as difficult or painful, changes occur in our minds and bodies to prepare us to respond to danger. This "fight, flight, or freeze” response includes faster heart and breathing rate, increased blood to muscles of arms and legs, cold or clammy hands and feet, upset stomach and/or a sense of dread.
The same mechanism that turns on the stress response can turn it off. As soon as we decide that a situation is no longer dangerous, changes can occur in our minds and bodies to help us relax and calm down. This "relaxation response” includes decreased heart and breathing rate and a sense of well being. Teens that develop a "relaxation response” and other stress management skills feel less helpless and have more choices when responding to stress.
Parents can help their teen in these ways:
Monitor if stress is affecting their teen's health, behavior, thoughts, or feelings
Listen carefully to teens and watch for overloading
Learn and model stress management skills
Support involvement in sports and other pro-social activities
Teens can decrease stress with the following behaviors and techniques:
Exercise and eat regularly
Avoid excess caffeine intake which can increase feelings of anxiety and agitation
Avoid illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco
Learn relaxation exercises (abdominal breathing and muscle relaxation techniques)
Develop assertiveness training skills. For example, state feelings in polite firm and not overly aggressive or passive ways: ("I feel angry when you yell at me” "Please stop yelling.”)
Rehearse and practice situations which cause stress. One example is taking a speech class if talking in front of a class makes you anxious
Learn practical coping skills. For example, break a large task into smaller, more attainable tasks
Decrease negative self talk: challenge negative thoughts about yourself with alternative neutral or positive thoughts. "My life will never get better” can be transformed into "I may feel hopeless now, but my life will probably get better if I work at it and get some help”
Learn to feel good about doing a competent or "good enough” job rather than demanding perfection from yourself and others
Take a break from stressful situations. Activities like listening to music, talking to a friend, drawing, writing, or spending time with a pet can reduce stress
Build a network of friends who help you cope in a positive way
By using these and other techniques, teenagers can begin to manage stress. If a teen talks about or shows signs of being overly stressed, a consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist or qualified mental health professional may be helpful.
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.
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.
Brain Teasers answers:
1. He was playing monopoly
2. His son