December 2019 Newsletter
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” ― John Holmes
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.
Please ensure your youth have all the necessities for cold winter this year – winter coat, boots, hats, gloves.
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
December Special Days
December 1st is World AIDS Day
Since 1988, December 1st has been recognized annually as World AIDS Day to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day. Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people living with the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most devastating pandemics in history.
December 10th- Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being -- regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.
December 25th- Christmas Day
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
December 31st- New Years Eve
Celebrate and dance as the New Year of 2020 rings in!
Saturday Night with Santa
Dine with the man himself - Santa! Join us on the 2nd floor of Wendel Clark's Grill and Bar in Downtown Brampton for Saturday Night with Santa!
Saturday, December 7th, 2019
Wendel Clark’s Grill and Bar (36 Main St, North, Brampton. L6V 1N6)
5pm – 7pm
Purchase Tickets https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/saturday-night-with-santa-tickets-83647757695
Holiday Scavenger Hunt
Join the Downtown Brampton businesses as we host our Holiday Scavenger Hunt with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Start the scavenger hunt at the BIA office with free cupcake decorating for the first 75. Grab a list from Santa and begin the scavenger hunt throughout the participating businesses. Once your list is complete, we invite you to come back and hand your list to Santa for a chance to be entered in to win a variety of prizes!
December 14th, 12pm
New Years Eve Roller Skate Countdown
December 31st, 2019
Rollerplex Entertainment, Brampton
What better way to welcome the New Year than at your local rink, skating to best tunes?
We welcome you to participate in this once a year event!
Included in your admission:
– Alcohol-free Wine ( for countdown)
– An experience to start your year RIGHT!
Toronto Aurora WinterFest
November 22nd, 2019- January 5th, 2020
The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is transforming the Ontario Place West Island into a spectacular celebration of light and adventure as the 2019 Aurora Winter Festival comes to life for a second consecutive year. Tickets are now on sale now for the highly-anticipated festival taking place from Friday, November 22, 2019 through to Sunday, January 5, 2020. This magical winter wonderland features four distinct mystical worlds for guests to explore, as well as enchanting characters, stunning light installations, fabulous food experiences, marketplaces, amusement rides and more.
Holiday Fair in the Square
In the heart of Toronto at Nathan Phillips Square, the Holiday Fair in the Square** runs December 7 – 23. Combining the charm and elegance of a Christmas market with the excitement and allure of a thriving winter carnival, Fair in the Square is a new favourite Toronto holiday tradition.
Whether you’re shopping for that unique, perfect gift, taking the family out for an afternoon of skating, rides and games, stopping by for a quick lunch and some seasonal treats, or enjoying an evening drink at the Wine Bar, Holiday Fair in the Square has festive fun for everyone!
Canadas Wonderland WinterFest
November 22-December 31
Canada’s Wonderland will be magically transformed into a winter Wonderland full of enchantment and holiday cheer during WinterFest! Become immersed in the season’s spirit with spectacular holiday lights and décor, world-class live entertainment, savory treats and fanciful Christmas activities.
Our holiday event is sure to bring joy to boys and girls of all ages, from one to ninety-nine! Don't miss out on the best thing to do this holiday season in Toronto!
The Toronto Christmas Market
November 14th-December 22nd 2019
Free during the week- Charged Weekends
NOT active on Mondays
Inspired by the Old World and influenced by the new, this month-long event celebrates the sounds, sights and scents of Christmas. Set in the Victorian-era, cobblestone-lined Distillery Historic District, the Christmas Market brings together local craftspeople, musicians and artisanal food-makers for a truly festive experience. Sip on mulled wine and European-style Christmas cocktails as you browse through the selection of hand-made ornaments, wood carvings and crafts. Then cozy up by the fire or take in carollers, brass bands and authentic European dancers. Don’t forget to stop by the giant Christmas tree for your Instagram moment.
December 21-Winter is here!
The cold is not something to look forward to…But these fun activities in the winter are!
Go Skating There are plenty of indoor and outdoor facilities for skating in the GTA, including some really fun outdoor spots: skate under the lights at Nathan Phillips Square's famous outdoor ice rink; the Natrel Rink at Harbourfront is one of Toronto's favourite outdoor rink for lacing up; Cedarena in Markham is a 75 year old outdoor rink in the Rouge Valley surrounded by trees; Gage Park’s beautiful lights and outdoor rink are something to see; Chinguacousy Skate Trail; or try Mel Lastman Square Skating in North York. Prefer to skate where it's warm? Toronto4Kids has a complete listing of Indoor Arenas in the Greater Toronto Area and other great spots for skating.
Build a Snowman Dress your snowman an old Halloween costume or used clothing. Use drops of food coloring to make colorful streaks through the snowman. Have contests to see who can make their snowman look the best.
Tobogganing Sliding downhill is an exhilarating activity! You can use sleds, tobogganing carpets, or toboggans. Scout out a good, safe hill to conquer with that toboggan you've been storing in the garage!
Go on a Winter Hike
Go outside and get some physical activity while bundled up! Go on a nice hike in a park or in the woods and take pictures, and spot animal tracks.
Not many of us are actually looking forward to the weather getting colder but we have to be well-prepared for the coming winter, we advise you prepare for winter by buying extra non-perishable groceries, appropriate winter clothing, bags of salt, shovels and other important items.
We also want to advise our foster parents and staff to be watching the news regularly for any updates from Environment Canada regarding weather. It is important that we are well prepared for the winter! In addition to this, please ensure your residents have the appropriate winter clothing attire such as snow boots, winter coats, mittens, hats and scarves.
Before the snow starts to really fall, make sure to rake the leaves up as they kill the grass. Also a reminder for foster parents and managers to take a walk around their homes to ensure everything is properly insulated for the winter. Everyone needs to make sure that shovelling and salting is done on a regular basis for safety issues. Please be mindful in the homes about having the heat up with the windows open.
Christmas time is upon us, and it’s time to get holly and jolly! We want to make sure that every home will have a Christmas tree and decorations, as making everyone feel at home and in the Holiday spirit! Alongside with having decorations, a full Holiday dinner with all residents needs to be planned and made. Regardless of religion of the Foster Parent homes decorations and tree should be up. A Christmas dinner should be planned before the any of the youth leave for home visits.
For Holiday Allowance; find out what the youths would like, purchase the gifts, wrap them and if they are going on a home visit, the gifts are to be sent home with them and opened on Christmas.
If planning home visits make sure planned well in advance, to make sure all plans go over smoothly.
Just for fun, try to solve the following brain teasers. The answers will be at the bottom of the newsletter. Good luck!
1. The teens brain key areas actually begins to shut down when they here someone nagging
2. A man pushes his car to a hotel and tells the owner he’s bankrupt. Why?
DID YOU KNOW?...
UN Warns of ‘Screen Teens’ not Getting Enough Exercise
A new report found that most adolescents across the globe are not getting enough exercise as screen time increasingly replaces physical activity in homes across the world. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 2019 (IPS) - It is a common complaint of parents globally that their children and teenagers spend far too many hours sprawled on couches playing video games, sharing selfies with online friends and giggling over TikTok videos.
Now, the call for youngsters to put down their mobile devices and head outdoors for some healthy activity comes with the backing of researchers at the World Health Organisation (WHO), a United Nations agency.
Dr Regina Guthold, a WHO expert on child and adolescent health, said her new report found that most adolescents are not getting enough exercise as screen time increasingly replaces physical activity in homes across the world.
The 13-page study, published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, found that more than four-fifths of schoolchildren aged 11-17 years do not get the recommended one hour of physical activity per day.
“The electronic revolution has led to changes in movement patterns among adolescents, replacement of active play with digital play, less walking and more sitting, slowing down or compromising efforts that have been made to increase physical activity,” Guthold told IPS.
Researchers gathered data from 1.6 million schoolchildren across 146 countries from 2001 to 2016.
They found that 81 percent of youngsters did not get their daily hour of exercise. This broke down to 85 percent of girls, compared to 78 percent of boys.
This is a problem, said Guthold. Active adolescents have healthier hearts, bones, muscles and tend not to become overweight. There is also evidence that exercise helps teenagers socialise and think more clearly.
Over a lifetime, being active can lower the threat of many diseases, from heart attacks to strokes and diabetes.
There are big variations around the world. Some 97 percent of South Korean girls do not get their hour-a-day of activity. The Philippines is a laggard for boys, with only 93 percent getting a healthy amount of exercise.
Researchers noted relatively low rates of inactivity among boys in Bangladesh (63 percent), India (72 percent) and the United States (64 percent) — which was attributed to South Asia’s obsession with cricket and the emphasis on sports at American schools.
While Guthold could not definitively blame Snapchat and Instagram for a generation of inactive youngsters, she said that it was likely the root cause for a phenomenon that can be observed from Albania to Zimbabwe.
“We speculate that the electronic revolution has contributed to most countries not having been successful in reducing insufficient activity levels,” Guthold, an expert on healthy lifestyles for the Geneva-based group, told IPS.
Researchers also noted that the gap between boys and girls is widening.
Girls were less active than boys in all but four countries — Tonga, Samoa, Afghanistan and Zambia.
The starkest difference between boys and girls is found in the United States and Ireland. In those two countries, 64 percent of boys and a much greater 81 percent of girls are inactive, researchers said.
“The trend of girls being less active than boys is concerning,” said Dr Leanne Riley a co-author of the study.
“More opportunities to meet the needs and interests of girls are needed to attract and sustain their participation in physical activity through adolescence and into adulthood.”
Another WHO researcher, Dr Fiona Bull, said governments should tackle the gender gap.
Officials need to address the social, economic, cultural, technological, and environmental reasons that boys get more exercise than girls — and then do something to tackle inequalities.
“Countries must develop or update their policies and allocate the necessary resources to increase physical activity,” said Bull.
“Policies should increase all forms of physical activity, including through physical education that develops physical literacy, more sports, active play and recreation opportunities.”
Duty to Report
Please remember that we all have a duty to report abuse or suspected abuse of a child. The Child and Youth 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 manager/resource worker by submitting a VACATION/TIME OFF REQUEST FORM to them or the head office. They will seek approval from the directors of the agency, 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 staff/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 manager/resource worker as designated by the directors.
2. He is playing monolpoly!