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July 2019 Newsletter

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Employee of the Month

Hanrahan Youth Services is very pleased to announce that the employee of the month for June 2019 is Ann-Marie Cooper.

Ann-Marie Cooper is educated in the field with a Social Service Program Diploma (Honours) and works for the Peel Board of Education with autistic children and children who have FASD. Ann-Marie is a very kind and patient person with a comforting demeanour. Ann-Marie exhibits great follow through and always explains why a resident is asked to perform a task. She is very hard working, and does not like to sit around and do nothing, therefore she takes it upon herself to help the foster parents by cleaning the home when she has free time. Ann-Marie is very dedicated to her work and will spend time with the girls even after her shift is over.

Congratulations/Acknowledgement:

Congratulations to John Coles and his fiancé Pamela as they got engaged at the end of June!

Congratulations to Natalie Stephens and her boyfriend on the birth of their baby boy Azai on June 8th!

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.

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

July Special Days

Canada Day- July 1st 2019

Far from a celebration of independence, Canada Day marks the anniversary of Canada being united into one country as part of the British Empire, combining the three areas of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a shiny new package. No longer a dominion of the UK but a proud member of the Commonwealth, Canada still retains the Queen as its head of state, putting Liz’s face on their dollars.

World Forgiveness Day- July 7th, 2019

A day to forgive and be forgiven, Forgiveness Day is a chance to set things right. Put aside old differences, move beyond grievances and hurts and start afresh.

World Youth Skills Day- July 15th 2019

The aim of World Youth Skills Day is to encourage youth to celebrate the value of acquiring skills like building, making, and creating as a way to achieve personal success and fulfillment.

World Day against Trafficking in Persons- July 30th 2019

World day against Trafficking in Persons is an annual event. People trafficking and modern day slavery is a massive worldwide problem with very few countries immune to human trafficking, and the event by the United Nations is to raise awareness and increase prevention of that.

July Events

Jurassic Square

July 5, 2019

Garden Square

The City of Brampton is airing the Toronto Raptors NBA Finals games at its downtown Celebration Square area. Games start at 9 p.m. Arrive early. Bring your own chairs and blankets.

Pride in the Square on July 07, 2019

Garden Square

Sunday, 07 July 2019

Pride in the Square returns! Celebrate the vibrant LGBTTIQQ2SA communities of Brampton through art, performance, and family-friendly programming. Browse a variety of community exhibitors, and enjoy live entertainment all day long.

Carabram, Brampton's Multicultural Festival

Century Gardens Recreation Centre

340 Vodden Street East, Brampton

Carabram is celebrating its 37th anniversary this year July 12, 13, 14. Be amazed by the colour, rich costumes, exotic food and entertainment as we celebrate our cultural diversity. This year come and enjoy Carabram`s Pavilion of Cultures at Century Gardens Recreation Centre featuring cultural delegations from Arabia, Latin America, Nepal, Pakistan and more. Main Stage entertainment, and International Bazaar and World of Food are all part of our Pavilion of Cultures.

Experience the World. Visit www.carabram.org for details.

Afrofest 2019

Woodbine Park

July 6

AFROFEST 2019 is an African music festival which celebrates the beauty and diversity of African music and culture. Taking place on July 06 & 07, 2019, it features a mix of local and international artists, and French and English programming.

AFROFEST is the largest free African festival in North America with a weekend attendance of about 120,000 visitors. It features 5 main sections: Main Stage for established professional artists; Youth Stage for emerging artists; Drumming Zone for drum enthusiasts; a market place which features over 80 food and merchandise vendors and a Children’s Creative Village for toddlers and young children to learn about African culture. The festival has about 50 performances and engages about 400 local and international artists to present various forms of African music and culture to the dynamic audience.

Pizzafest

July 19

Ontario Place

Pizza Fest is returning to Ontario Place to bring together 20+ of Toronto’s best pizza joints and Italian hotspots, serving up authentic slices and other Italian favourites from spaghetti carbonara and meatball sandwiches to gelato and tiramisu.

Junior Carnival and Family Day

July 20th

Neilson Park, 36 Sewells Rd, Scarborough, ON

Junior Carnival is an annual parade that gives children the opportunity to celebrate Caribbean culture and share it with their community. Young masqueraders dance through the streets in their brightly coloured costumes. This parade, similar to the Carnival is made up of a series of band leaders displaying costumes in competition. The Junior Carnival and Family Day event provides its audience and the surrounding community of Malvern the opportunity to experience the cultural presentation of young performers as they participate in their earlier years. Get your dose of fun and music here.

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.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Write a Summertime Activity List Have each person write down activities they would like to do over the summer on index cards, draw one each day or every time they say "I'm bored!"

Spoon Up Some Ice Cream One of the quintessential summer symbols is ice cream. Make the first day of summer even better by stopping by your favorite ice cream place or setting up a make-your-own sundae bar for dessert.

Freshen Up Your Home Perhaps spring cleaning got away from you. Let the official change of seasons be your cue to freshen up the look of everyone’s room.

Have a Picnic Celebrate the first night of summer with a dinnertime picnic.

Play Ball Set a trend for an active summer and organize a softball game with family and friends.

Camp Out Kick off summer with a night under the stars. Go camping or hang out in your backyard. Do traditional fun camping things like grilling hot dogs and telling ghost stories.

Enjoy a Summer-themed Feast What's your favorite summertime treat? Maybe it's BBQ ribs, burgers, s'mores or fresh fruits and veggies. Combine them in a meal that's a toast to the season.

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.

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 over the next month or two to prepare for the warmer months

Summer Employment

With the warmer weather slowing approaching, it is time for our foster parents and group home staff to find ways to motivate our youth to use their summer holidays as constructively as possible. If appropriate, and if outlined in our youths’ plans of care, then employment should be an obvious option. Although the summer may seem a long way off, opportunities for summer employment are already in play. One excellent source of information is the www.ontario.ca/summerjobs website. Another local agency is Job Skills in Brampton which can be accessed at www.jobskills.org. Services available include resume and interview success workshops. Summer job placements begin earlier than you make think, so now is the time to begin researching what’s out there.

Summer School

Please note that summer school registration in Toronto begins on May 2nd. Peel has not yet specified their date. This is the time to start talking to your youth about what courses they may want to take if necessary.

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. Why are ghosts bad liars?

2. You buy me to eat, but never eat me. What am I?

DID YOU KNOW?...

Young people report that there might be good reason to worry. A survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health asked 14-24 year olds in the UK how social media platforms impacted their health and wellbeing. The survey results found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all led to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness.

Indirect communication

Teens are masters at keeping themselves occupied in the hours after school until way past bedtime. When they’re not doing their homework (and when they are) they’re online and on their phones, texting, sharing, trolling, scrolling, you name it. Of course before everyone had an Instagram account teens kept themselves busy, too, but they were more likely to do their chatting on the phone, or in person when hanging out at the mall. It may have looked like a lot of aimless hanging around, but what they were doing was experimenting, trying out skills, and succeeding and failing in tons of tiny real-time interactions that kids today are missing out on. For one thing, modern teens are learning to do most of their communication while looking at a screen, not another person.

“As a species we are very highly attuned to reading social cues,” says Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist and author of The Big Disconnect. “There’s no question kids are missing out on very critical social skills. In a way, texting and online communicating—it’s not like it creates a nonverbal learning disability, but it puts everybody in a nonverbal disabled context, where body language, facial expression, and even the smallest kinds of vocal reactions are rendered invisible.”

Lowering the risks

Certainly speaking indirectly creates a barrier to clear communication, but that’s not all. Learning how to make friends is a major part of growing up, and friendship requires a certain amount of risk-taking. This is true for making a new friend, but it’s also true for maintaining friendships. When there are problems that need to be faced—big ones or small ones—it takes courage to be honest about your feelings and then hear what the other person has to say. Learning to effectively cross these bridges is part of what makes friendship fun and exciting, and also scary. “Part of healthy self-esteem is knowing how to say what you think and feel even when you’re in disagreement with other people or it feels emotionally risky,” notes Dr. Steiner-Adair. But when friendship is conducted online and through texts, kids are doing this in a context stripped of many of the most personal—and sometimes intimidating—aspects of communication. It’s easier to keep your guard up when you’re texting, so less is at stake. You aren’t hearing or seeing the effect that your words are having on the other person. Because the conversation isn’t happening in real time, each party can take more time to consider a response. No wonder kids say calling someone on the phone is “too intense”—it requires more direct communication, and if you aren’t used to that it may well feel scary.If kids aren’t getting enough practice relating to people and getting their needs met in person and in real time, many of them will grow up to be adults who are anxious about our species’ primary means of communication—talking. And of course social negotiations only get riskier as people get older and begin navigating romantic relationships and employment.

Cyberbullying and the imposter syndrome

The other big danger that comes from kids communicating more indirectly is that it has gotten easier to be cruel. “Kids text all sorts of things that you would never in a million years contemplate saying to anyone’s face,” says Dr. Donna Wick, a clinical and developmental psychologist. She notes that this seems to be especially true of girls, who typically don’t like to disagree with each other in “real life.”

“You hope to teach them that they can disagree without jeopardizing the relationship, but what social media is teaching them to do is disagree in ways that are more extreme and do jeopardize the relationship. It’s exactly what you don’t want to have happen,” she says.

Dr. Steiner-Adair agrees that girls are particularly at risk. “Girls are socialized more to compare themselves to other people, girls in particular, to develop their identities, so it makes them more vulnerable to the downside of all this.” She warns that a lack of solid self-esteem is often to blame. “We forget that relational aggression comes from insecurity and feeling awful about yourself, and wanting to put other people down so you feel better.” Peer acceptance is a big thing for adolescents, and many of them care about their image as much as a politician running for office, and to them it can feel as serious. Add to that the fact that kids today are getting actual polling data on how much people like them or their appearance via things like “likes.” It’s enough to turn anyone’s head. Who wouldn’t want to make herself look cooler if she can? So kids can spend hours pruning their online identities, trying to project an idealized image. Teenage girls sort through hundreds of photos, agonizing over which ones to post online. Boys compete for attention by trying to out-gross one other, pushing the envelope as much as they can in the already disinhibited atmosphere online. Kids gang up on each other.Adolescents have always been doing this, but with the advent of social media they are faced with more opportunities—and more traps—than ever before. When kids scroll through their feeds and see how great everyone seems, it only adds to the pressure. We’re used to worrying about the impractical ideals that photoshopped magazine models give to our kids, but what happens with the kid next door is photoshopped, too? Even more confusing, what about when your own profile doesn’t really represent the person that you feel like you are on the inside?“ Adolescence and the early twenties in particular are the years in which you are acutely aware of the contrasts between who you appear to be and who you think you are,” says Dr. Wick. “It’s similar to the ‘imposter syndrome’ in psychology. As you get older and acquire more mastery, you begin to realize that you actually are good at some things, and then you feel that gap hopefully narrow. But imagine having your deepest darkest fear be that you aren’t as good as you look, and then imagine needing to look that good all the time! It’s exhausting.”As Dr. Steiner-Adair explains, “Self-esteem comes from consolidating who you are.” The more identities you have, and the more time you spend pretending to be someone you aren’t, the harder it’s going to be to feel good about yourself.

What should parents do?

Both experts interviewed for this article agreed that the best thing parents can do to minimize the risks associated with technology is to curtail their own consumption first. It’s up to parents to set a good example of what healthy computer usage looks like. Most of us check our phones or our email too much, out of either real interest or nervous habit. Kids should be used to seeing our faces, not our heads bent over a screen. Establish technology-free zones in the house and technology-free hours when no one uses the phone, including mom and dad. “Don’t walk in the door after work in the middle of a conversation,” Dr. Steiner-Adair advises. “Don’t walk in the door after work, say ‘hi’ quickly, and then ‘just check your email.’ In the morning, get up a half hour earlier than your kids and check your email then. Give them your full attention until they’re out the door. And neither of you should be using phones in the car to or from school because that’s an important time to talk.”

Not only does limiting the amount of time you spend plugged in to computers provide a healthy counterpoint to the tech-obsessed world, it also strengthens the parent-child bond and makes kids feel more secure. Kids need to know that you are available to help them with their problems, talk about their day, or give them a reality check.

“It is the mini-moments of disconnection, when parents are too focused on their own devices and screens, that dilute the parent-child relationship,” Dr. Steiner-Adair warns. And when kids start turning to the Internet for help or to process whatever happened during the day, you might not like what happens. “Tech can give your children more information that you can, and it doesn’t have your values,” notes Dr. Steiner-Adair. “It won’t be sensitive to your child’s personality, and it won’t answer his question in a developmentally appropriate way.”

In addition Dr. Wick advises delaying the age of first use as much as possible. “I use the same advice here that I use when talking about kids and alcohol—try to get as far as you can without anything at all.” If your child is on Facebook, Dr. Wick says that you should be your child’s friend and monitor her page. But she advises against going through text messages unless there is cause for concern. “If you have a reason to be worried then okay, but it better be a good reason. I see parents who are just plain old spying on their kids. Parents should begin by trusting their children. To not even give your kid the benefit of the doubt is incredibly damaging to the relationship. You have to feel like your parents think you’re a good kid.”

Offline, the gold standard advice for helping kids build healthy self-esteem is to get them involved in something that they’re interested in. It could be sports or music or taking apart computers or volunteering—anything that sparks an interest and gives them confidence. When kids learn to feel good about what they can do instead of how they look and what they own, they’re happier and better prepared for success in real life. That most of these activities also involve spending time interacting with peers face-to-face is just the icing on the cake.

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.

Training

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:

https://ca.ctrinstitute.com/workshops/category/public-workshops/

* 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. Because you can see right through them

2. A plate

Archive

NEWSLETTER

Location:

28 Malcolm Crescent, Brampton, ON,

L6S 3C8 

Talk to Us:

Tel: 905-450-4685

info@hanrahanyouth.com

  © 2016 Hanrahan Youth Services Inc. Website by Michael Hanrahan.