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January 2019 Newsletter

Letter from the Directors

We would first like to thank everyone for there service to HYS in 2018! Your hard work and services to the youth in our care has not gone unnoticed. HYS is proud of all employees agency wide and want to encourage each and everyone to put forth their best efforts. That being said HYS as a whole should not be fully satisfied with the accomplishments we have made in 2018.

In 2019 HYS is working on changes to make a number of enhancements to provide a better service to both the clients and people we have working for us.

HYS would also like to challenge all of you to find ways to become the best Child and Youth Counsellors and Foster Parents. HYS has always supported our people with workshops and seminars but a number of you have not taken advantage of this. HYS would like everyone to know how important they are to the lives of our kids and although you may not see, feel or be rewarded for your efforts immediately. We can assure you are making a difference in many ways! Please keep this in mind the next time you are working with an challenging youth or your not feeling your self, every interaction you have is important in the growth of our clients as well as ourselves.

HYS would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year!!


Bob and Brian.


February 8th is a agency wide training-please contact head office for the information to attend.

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.

Marijuana Legalization:

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.

Terminology Changes:

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

January Special Days

January 1s

New Years Day

New Years' Day is a time to relax and enjoy the start of a bright and promising new year....a new beginning. It is a time to be with family and friends. Enjoy everything about New Year' only comes once a year!

January 8th

National Clean Off Your Desk Day

National Clean Off Your Desk Day is an annual fun celebration observed on January 8th of this year. Of course, all of our desks during the holidays would have been filled with many more unnecessary items. One would have used the desk in the home for the Festivus and new year celebration. Even the desk in your office would have surrounded with dust as you haven’t visited your workplace due to the holiday season. Whatever the reason and mess be, it is essential to start the new year with a neat and clean workspace. Experts believe that the cleanliness increases the productivity. So it’s time to clean off your desk as it is National Clean Off Your Desk Day

Clean up by this plan of attack:

· Get your cleaning supplies out and get scrubbing and organizing.

· Get everyone in the home to help, give each person a task and award them for finishing it.

· Make an organization itinerary. Attack a different room or area each week.

· Declutter by donating things you don't use anymore.

January 9th

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Across the country on January 9, citizens take the lead on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a profession that puts their life on the line every day for their communities. They’ve answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated. On National Law Enforcement Day, we have an opportunity to thank them for their service and offer a token of respect.

January 11th

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is celebrated January 11 of Every year. It’s a day to create awareness about sexual slavery and human trafficking to worldwide. Now, nearly 20-30 millions of people were enslaved in the world, which is more than any time in the human history. Slavery is recognised on every day in the way of young women forced into prostitution; migrant workers are exploited in the workforce and children become soldiers. Hence National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is created to end these slaveries and make sure that every individual has their rights and making the world as a safer place to all people.

January 20th

International Acceptance Day

International Day of Acceptance is an annual celebration January 20th of each year. At times, it is important to accept certain things as such. It is true in the case of accepting the disability of the person. There is nothing to feel different or awkward living with such disability. Thus to recognize those people globally, International Day of Acceptance is created. Annie Hopkins has created the symbol of International Symbol of Acceptance as a way to recognize social acceptance of disability. It is a worldwide observance that is created to honour the Annie Hopkins and her incredible work to make the disability as a socially acceptable thing.

January Events

New Years Eve

Start Date:Monday, 31 December 2018

End Date: Tuesday, 01 January 2019

Time:7:30 PM - 2:30 AM

Bovaird Banquet Hall

190 Bovaird Dr West, Brampton ON, L7A 1A2

New Year Eve 2019 in #Brampton at Bovaird Banquet Hall - signature event from PGA International Inc. Best event in the city!! Lots of fun, amazing performances and great food!! Kids below 11 years $40 Adults - $60 Group of 10 -

Free Criminal Advice Clinic

January 2, 2019

Grace United Church - Brampton

156 Main St. North, Brampton ON

This is a free walk in clinic that will help anyone who needs advice about their criminal charges. An experienced criminal lawyer is present who can answer questions and review your disclosure. Bring all your paperwork. Everyone is welcome!

The Toronto Light Show

Distillery Historic District

Starting January 18th- March 3rd 2019


The Toronto Light Festival is a new visual journey and an imaginative cerebral adventure.

During the cold, dark days of winter, City residents will be drawn out of their traditional indoor habitats to experience Toronto in a way they never have before.

The Festival exhibits the creativity of local and international artists and is a winter experience designed to entertain & inspire.

Benway Skate Trail

250 Fort York Blvd, Toronto, ON

The wait is almost over. On January 6, 2018 at 11 AM come celebrate the opening of The Bentway Skate Trail and our first ever Winter Season!Get out of hibernation and reimagine winter with a full weekend of FREE fun activities and events, including musical performances from Charmie Deller, Carmen Braden, demonstrations of Ice Breaking a unique hybrid of breakdancing and freestyle ice skating by the Toronto Ice Skate Group, DJ sets from Skratch Bastid and Nino Brown, food and drink, pop-up curling, our inaugural public art exhibition Constructions of the Everyday, and more.

DJ Skate Nights

HarbourFront centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto.

Free Admission. All Ages.

Skate and Helmet Rentals Available

Sharpen your skates and skills as Toronto’s number one outdoor winter parety returns with another stellar line up of DJSs that will being the heat to your Saturday nights. The rumours are true, DJ skate nights is the best in town!

8:00PM- 11:00 PM

Every Saturday!

The Cold Weather is Here!

The cold is here...And we may not like it! But these activities are something that can lighten up the spirit and continue to have fun in the New Year.

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 Parks 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.

Most, if not all public skating rinks provide rental skates and helmets*

Build a Snowman Dress your snowman in 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. Continue to a Dollarama or Walmart and get some 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 and enjoy the fresh air!

Preparation January

Take a walk around your 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. Snow removal is very important, once done make sure to salt to avoid ice.

*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.

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. A family has five children: January, February, March and April. What is the fifth child’s name.

2. What is the difference between a teacher and a train?


Peer influence and peer pressure

Peer influence is when you choose to do something you wouldn’t otherwise do, because you want to feel accepted and valued by your friends. It isn’t just or always about doing something against your will.

You might hear the term ‘peer pressure’ used a lot. But peer influence is a better way to describe how teenagers’ behaviour is shaped by wanting to feel they belong to a group of friends or peers.

Peer pressure or influence can be positive. For example, your child might be influenced to become more assertive, try new activities, or to get more involved with school.

But it can be negative too. Some teenagers might choose to try things they normally wouldn’t be interested in, such as smoking or taking part in antisocial behaviour.

Peer influence might result in children:

  • choosing the same clothes, hairstyle or jewellery as their friends

  • listening to the same music or watching the same TV shows as their friends

  • changing the way they talk, or the words they use

  • doing risky things or breaking rules

  • working harder at school, or not working as hard

  • dating or taking part in sexual activities

  • smoking or using alcohol or other drugs.

Coping well with peer influence is about getting the balance right between being yourself and fitting in with your group.

Some children are more likely to be negatively influenced by peers – for example, children who have poor self-esteem, who feel they have few friends, and who have special needs. These children might feel that the only way they’ll be included and accepted in social groups is by taking on the behaviour, attitudes and look of a group.

Children who have strong self-esteem are better at resisting negative peer influence. If your child is happy with who he is and the choices he makes, he’s less likely to be influenced by other people. Self-esteem helps in establishing good relationships, and positive friendships also help self-esteem.

Helping your child manage peer pressure and peer influence

You might be worried that your child is being influenced too much by her peers, or that she’s selling out on her values (or yours) to fit in with her friends. You might also be concerned that your child won’t be able to say no if she gets pressure to try risky things, such as smoking.

But listening to the same music and dressing in the same way as friends doesn’t necessary add up to doing the same antisocial or risky things.

Your child might do some things that his friends do, but not other things. You have an influence over your child too, especially over the longer term. If your child has a strong sense of himself and his values, it’s more likely he’ll know where to draw the line when it comes to assessing risks.

Here are some ideas to help your child manage peer pressure and peer influence:

  • Keep the lines of communication open. You can do this by staying connected to your child. This can help make her feel more comfortable talking to you if she’s feeling swayed to do something she’s uncomfortable with.

  • Suggest ways to say no. Your child might need to have some face-saving ways to say no if he’s feeling influenced to do something he doesn’t want to do. For example, friends might be encouraging him to try smoking. Rather than simply saying ‘No, thanks’, he could say something like, ‘No, it makes my asthma worse’, or ‘No, I don’t like the way it makes me smell’.

  • Give teenagers a way out. If your child feels she’s in a risky or tricky situation, it might help if she can text or phone you for back-up without worrying you’ll be cranky. If your child is embarrassed about having to call you, you could agree on a coded message. For example, she could say that she’s checking on a sick grandparent, but you’ll know that it really means she needs a hand.

  • Encourage a wide social network. If your child has the chance to develop friendships from many sources, including sport, family activities or clubs, it will mean he’s got lots of other options and sources of support if a friendship goes wrong.

  • Build up your child’s sense of self-esteem. This can help her feel more confident to make her own decisions and push back on peer influence.

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.

Brain Teasers answers:

1. "What"is the child's name, it was not a question.

2. A teachers says "spit out your gum" a train says "chew chew"

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