June 2019 Newsletter
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” ― John Holmes
Employee of the Month
Hanrahan Youth Services is very pleased to announce that the employees of the month for May 2019 are Erin Hurley , Paul Santori and Taylor Barron. Collectively they were instrumental in Hanrahan Youth Services being granted a near flawless license to operate a Foster Care Program for the upcoming year.
Taylors exceptional organization skills helped identify and track ministry mandated documentation that is required in our foster parent files, support staff files and resident files. This onerous and sometimes tedious task was executed excellently.
Taylor then handed off her " lists" to our capable Resource Worker Paul Santori who had the unenviable task of ensuring that the documentation required for the licensing audit was submitted in a timely fashion by our highly committed foster parents and supporting CYW's.
Our Admin Manager Erin Hurley utilized her finely tuned triage skills to support the licensing process by assisting in the development of templates and policies and responding to ministry summary reports. She also contributed by giving feedback and advice to her colleagues based on her previous licensing experiences.
The directors of Hanrahan Youth Services congratulate you on your accomplishment and thank you for your efforts in the very important licensing process.
Please ensure that every youths 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 Canada 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
June Special Days
June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Month
For millions of people around the world, the most traumatic events of their lives have never ended. PTSD is a lingering reminder that turns everyday into a potential minefield, with flashbacks and triggers potentially hidden around every corner. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month is dedicated to raiding awareness about this life-long struggle and the people it affects, how each of us can help make their lives just a little easier.
June is Toronto’s fourth annual Pride Month
Pride Month 2019 will see the return of long-standing hallmarks of Pride, including the Street fair, Pride Parade, Dyke March and the world’s largest Trans* pride march. In addition, there will be a full slate of cultural and affiliate events, human rights panels, community and festival stages, and more.
Pride Toronto announced today the official Toronto’s fourth annual Pride Month starts June 1 with the Flag Raising Ceremony at City Hall.
Fathers Day-June 16th 2019
First Day of Summer- June 21st 2019
Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
May 23- June 2nd
TIFF Bell Light BoxHosted by RBC
Inside out brings you the annual Toronto LGBT Film festival. It is the largest event of its kind in Canada, bringing audiences unforgettable queer cinematic experiences. For 11 days, the Festival draws crowds of more than 32,500 to screenings, artist talks, panel discussions, installations and parties that showcase more than 175 films from Canada and around the world.
Brampton Kite Festival
Heart Lake Conservation Area
Kite enthusiasts and families gather together to paint the sky and celebrate the joy of kite flying at the Brampton KiteFest.
The Future is You , Youth Conference 2019
McGregor Park Community Centre
Helping Youth today change the world tomorrow. This event will set the foundation of success for your teen, so they can get ahead in life
June 8, 14, 16
9 Wellington Street East, Brampton
Peel Art Gallery Museum
Discover the forces and events that drive people from their homes, and experience their stories of loss, fear, and hope as you join them on their often-dangerous journeys to life in a foreign land.
Youth Human Rights Conference
June 21, 2019
For Queer Youth ages 15-30
Check it out with Pride Toronto and Future Design School
International Yoga Day
Mount Pleasant Community Centre
COME DO YOGA!
Toronto Diversity Festival
David Peacut Square
Join thousands of GTA residents as we celebrate our strength in diversity and build a united Canada. Canadian multiculturalism is at the forefront of civic pride in the GTA, and the Toronto Diversity Festival brings together people of all ages and nationalities to experience the richness of the cultural fabric that makes up our communities.
Summer is here!
June 21st marks the first day of Summer!
Perfect time to do some cleaning both inside the home (including the garage) and out! Get the whole group involved and de-clutter. Having everyone join in will make a big difference in the workload. To motivate them, try turning up some music or establishing a “reward” for when the work is done.
There are some special chores that need to be done seasonally like cleaning patios and windows. We ignore them for most of the fall and winter, but now it is time to get these things clean. Even though these chores only need to be done once or twice a year, they will help the home look better.
Temperatures are slowly creeping upwards. We ask that staff and foster parents take a walk around the properties to see if there is any garbage laying around that needs to be picked up or any items that may require fixing.
If you need to use the HYS pick-up truck to do garbage-runs, please contact Erin Hurley at head office to book it. We strongly advise that this gets done ASAP for the properties to be ready for summer.
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 kind of tree can you carry in your hand?
DID YOU KNOW?...
Tips for Communicating with teens
1. Listen. If you are curious about what’s going on in your teen’s life, asking direct questions might not be as effective as simply sitting back and listening. Kids are more likely to be open with their parents if they don’t feel pressured to share information. Remember even an offhand comment about something that happened during the day is her way of reaching out, and you’re likely to hear more if you stay open and interested — but not prying.
2. Validate their feelings. It is often our tendency to try to solve problems for our kids, or downplay their disappointments. But saying something like “She wasn’t right for you anyway” after a romantic disappointment can feel dismissive. Instead, show kids that you understand and empathize by reflecting the comment back: “Wow, that does sound difficult.”
3. Show trust. Teens want to be taken seriously, especially by their parents. Look for ways to show that you trust your teen. Asking him for a favor shows that you rely on him. Volunteering a privilege shows that you think he can handle it. Letting your kid know you have faith in him will boost his confidence and make him more likely to rise to the occasion.
4. Don’t be a dictator. You still get to set the rules, but be ready to explain them. While pushing the boundaries is natural for teenagers, hearing your thoughtful explanation about why parties on school nights aren’t allowed will make the rule seem more reasonable.
5. Give praise. Parents tend to praise children more when they are younger, but adolescents need the self-esteem boost just as much. Teenagers might act like they’re too cool to care about what their parents think, but the truth is they still want your approval. Also looking for opportunities to be positive and encouraging is good for the relationship, especially when it is feeling strained.
6. Control your emotions. It’s easy for your temper to flare when your teen is being rude, but don’t respond in kind. Remember that you’re the adult and he is less able to control his emotions or think logically when he’s upset. Count to ten or take some deep breaths before responding. If you’re both too upset to talk, hit pause until you’ve had a chance to calm down.
7. Do things together. Talking isn’t the only way to communicate, and during these years it’s great if you can spend time doing things you both enjoy, whether it’s cooking or hiking or going to the movies, without talking about anything personal. It’s important for kids to know that they can be in proximity to you, and share positive experiences, without having to worry that you will pop intrusive questions or call them on the carpet for something.
8. Share regular meals. Sitting down to eat a meal together as a family is another great way to stay close. Dinner conversations give every member of the family a chance to check in and talk casually about sports or television or politics. Kids who feel comfortable talking to parents about everyday things are likely to be more open when harder things come up, too. One rule: no phones allowed.
9. Be observant. It’s normal for kids to go through some changes as they mature, but pay attention if you notice changes to her mood, behavior, energy level, or appetite. Likewise, take note if he stops wanting to do things that used to make him happy, or if you notice him isolating himself. If you see a change in your teen’s daily ability to function, ask her about it and be supportive (without being judgmental). She may need your help and it could be a sign she needs to talk to a mental health professional.
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.
Brain Teasers answers:
1. A Stamp!
2. A Palm