February 2019 Newsletter
"Compliment People. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses.”
- Joyce Meyer
Employee of the Month
Hanrahan Youth Services would like to recognize John Coles as Foster Parent of the Month for January.
John joined HYS as a foster parent back in April of 2000. John is January's Foster Parent of the Month for his continuous encouragement, guidance and going above and beyond for the youth in his care. He makes sure that all youth feel right at home, and are comfortable. This is made evident through the way that the youth comply with program expectations and in the level of respect they show towards John. John also continues these efforts even after youth have moved on from Hanrahan and his care, demonstrating his support and willingness to help them succeed having open arms and helping them move forward.
John also comes into head office regularly making sure that all documentation regarding the youth are always done with time proficiency and detail, and continues to meet expectations.
Congratulations to John from everyone at HYS!
TRAINING FEB 8TH:
The training that was scheduled for February 8th is being rescheduled as we just had it brought to our attention that February 8th falls on a PA Day, which means that a number of foster parents and staff won’t be able to make it.
I will be sending out an email soon with the new date. Please let all of your staff know in case they were set up 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.
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.
New Canada Food Guide:
Please take a look at the new Canda food guide and ensure that each home is up to standards and each meal is following the guide. Print outs are available at head office.
Please make sure to remember the Ministry 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
February is Black History Month
Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present. We celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.
People of African descent have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity since the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa, a navigator and interpreter, whose presence in Canada dates back to the early 1600s. The role of Blacks in Canada has not always been viewed as a key feature in Canada’s historic landscape. There is little mention that some of the Loyalists who came here after the American Revolution and settled in the Maritimes were Blacks, or of the many sacrifices made in wartime by Black Canadian soldiers as far back as the War of 1812. Few Canadians are aware of the fact that African people were once enslaved in the territory that is now Canada, or of how those who fought enslavement helped to lay the foundation of Canada’s diverse and inclusive society.
Black History Month is a time to learn more about these Canadian stories and the many other important contributions of Black Canadians to the settlement, growth and development of Canada, and about the diversity of Black communities in Canada and their importance to the history of this country.
Cheers Program are looking for black youth in and out of care in Toronto to become mentors. This is a great way to become part of a culturally empowered community of youth in and from care who work together to support, encourage and improve their livelihood. Gain community service hours for high school graduation, connect with peer mentors offering valuable life skills to prepare for transitions and access wraparound services at Queen West. Go to www.cheersprogram.com to learn more.
One on One Resume Critique for Newcomers
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
7700 Hurontario Street, Unit 601, Suite 100
9:00 AM-3:00 PM
Everything you need to know about writing the perfect resume. One hour – one on one appointment with an employment counsellor.
Email to make an appointment- firstname.lastname@example.org
WellFort Celebrates Black History Month 2019
Thursday, February 07, 2019
1A Kinghtsbridge Rd, Brampton ON
WellFort Community Health Services is committed to engaging with the local community to celebrate our diverse backgrounds. We are excited to announce we will be hosting a free fun-filled event with free refreshments and food. Our theme for this celebration is ROOTS: Digging Deeper and Building Stronger. Digging Deeper will explore internalized racism and other issues that affect black youths. Building Stronger will explore the role parents, family and communities can play to address these issues and build stronger communities.
Sharron Matthews' Cabaret for Kids: Invincible You Invincible Me
Monday, February 18, 2019
Brampton Rose Threatre
Weaving personal stories from her own childhood (issues of bullying, self-image, anxiety and overcoming adversity), with instantly recognizable songs of the day like “Shake if Off” and “Uptown Funk”, Sharron creates an exciting space for children not only to discover, but to also voice their ideas and, to their great surprise and joy, heartily sing along!
Mackenzie House Celebrates Black History Month
February 2, 2019 - February 24, 2019
Toronto has a rich legacy in the literature and the newspapers of the early Black community in Ontario. Visit the museum on weekends during Black History Month, and learn more about some of the Black Victorians of Toronto, featuring those who published newspapers during that era. Print a souvenir copy of Mary Ann Shadd Cary's newspaper
Raising Our Voices - Sharing Black Canadian Stories
Tue, 12 February 2019
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning
273 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M5S 1V6
This Black History Month, Historica Canada is proud to host a special evening of storytelling and music: Raising Our Voices - Sharing Black Canadian Stories. Join us as we celebrate the achievements of historical and contemporary Black Canadians who have made significant contributions to Canada.
Speaker lineup includes Former NBA All-Star and Toronto Raptors Assistant Coach and Community Ambassador Jamaal D. Magloire, Chemist and CEO of Visions of Science Network for Learning Eugenia Duodu, Host of NBATV Canada's "The Hangout" Akil Augustine, Executive Director of Rainbow Railroad Kimahli Powell and Spoken Word Artist, Author and Activist MayaSpoken.
Toronto CAS Black Love & Community FEBRUARY 22 FRIDAY 6 pm – 9 pm Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., (north of Bloor subway) 2nd Floor, Bluma Appel Salon
Buffet Dinner: The Real Jerk | Drumming & Dancing Speakers: Senator Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, Michel Chikwanine, Former Child Soldier, Inspirational Speaker and Author, of the graphic novel, Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War
For tickets and more information, please contact: 416 924 4640
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 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
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!
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.
Just for fun, try to solve the following brain teasers. The answers will be at the bottom of the newsletter. Good luck!
1. What can travel around the world while staying in a corner?
2. What has a head and a tail, but no body?
DID YOU KNOW?...
Most of us spend much more time with digital media than we did a decade ago. But today’s teens have come of age with smartphones in their pockets. Compared to teens a couple of decades ago, the way they interact with traditional media like books and movies is fundamentally different.
My co-authors and I analyzed nationally representative surveys of over one million U.S. teens collected since 1976 and discovered an almost seismic shift in how teens are spending their free time.
Increasingly, books seem to be gathering dust.
It’s all about the screens
By 2016, the average 12th grader said they spent a staggering six hours a day texting, on social media, and online during their free time. And that’s just three activities; if other digital media activities were included, that estimate would surely rise.
Teens didn’t always spend that much time with digital media. Online time has doubled since 2006, and social media use moved from a periodic activity to a daily one. By 2016, nearly nine out of 10 12th-grade girls said they visited social media sites every day.
Meanwhile, time spent playing video games rose from under an hour a day to an hour and a half on average. One out of 10 8th graders in 2016 spent 40 hours a week or more gaming – the time commitment of a full-time job.
With only so much time in the day, doesn’t something have to give?
Maybe not. Many scholars have insisted that time online does not displace time spent engaging with traditional media. Some people are just more interested in media and entertainment, they point out, so more of one type of media doesn’t necessarily mean less of the other.
However, that doesn’t tell us much about what happens across a whole cohort of people when time spent on digital media grows and grows. This is what large surveys conducted over the course of many years can tell us.
Movies and books go by the wayside
While 70 percent of 8th and 10th graders once went to the movies once a month or more, now only about half do. Going to the movies was equally popular from the late 1970s to the mid-2000s, suggesting that Blockbuster video and VCRs didn’t kill going to the movies.
But after 2007 – when Netflix introduced its video streaming service – moviegoing began to lose its appeal. More and more, watching a movie became a solitary experience. This fits a larger pattern: In another analysis, we found that today’s teens go out with their friends considerably less than previous generations did.
But the trends in moviegoing pale in comparison to the largest change we found: An enormous decline in reading. In 1980, 60 percent of 12th graders said they read a book, newspaper or magazine every day that wasn’t assigned for school.
By 2016, only 16 percent did – a huge drop, even though the book, newspaper or magazine could be one read on a digital device (the survey question doesn’t specify format).
The number of 12th graders who said they had not read any books for pleasure in the last year nearly tripled, landing at one out of three by 2016. For iGen – the generation born since 1995 who has spent their entire adolescence with smartphones – books, newspapers and magazines have less and less of a presence in their daily lives.
Of course, teens are still reading. But they’re reading short texts and Instagram captions, not longform articles that explore deep themes and require critical thinking and reflection. Perhaps as a result, SAT reading scores in 2016 were the lowest they have ever been since record keeping began in 1972.
It doesn’t bode well for their transition to college, either. Imagine going from reading two-sentence captions to trying to read even five pages of an 800-page college textbook at one sitting. Reading and comprehending longer books and chapters takes practice, and teens aren’t getting that practice.
There was a study from the Pew Research Center a few years ago finding that young people actually read more books than older people. But that included books for school and didn’t control for age. When we look at pleasure reading across time, iGen is reading markedly less than previous generations.
The way forward
So should we wrest smartphones from iGen’s hands and replace them with paper books?
Probably not: smartphones are teens’ main form of social communication.
However, that doesn’t mean they need to be on them constantly. Data connecting excessive digital media time to mental health issues suggests a limit of two hours a day of free time spent with screens, a restriction that will also allow time for other activities – like going to the movies with friends or reading.
Of the trends we found, the pronounced decline in reading is likely to have the biggest negative impact. Reading books and longer articles is one of the best ways to learn how to think critically, understand complex issues and separate fact from fiction. It’s crucial for being an informed voter, an involved citizen, a successful college student and a productive employee.
If print starts to die, a lot will go with it.
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. A Stamp
2. A Coin