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January 2020 Newsletter

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” ― Steve Maraboli

Letter From The Directors:

As we are all set to begin another year, we want to thank all our valuable employees who worked hard for our growth. The end of 2019 is here, and it is time to start with new spirits and start setting new goals for the New Year. May this year be a wonderful surprise for hard work and success.

We wish you a happy and prosperous new year and hope that the New Year becomes a year of striving for better performance with your determination and hard work for our youth! Warm wishes to you and your loved ones!

Bob and Brian


A youth of ours inspired the group One Fire Movement to write a song after they met this youth at a school visit.

Please clink the link to hear the song:

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

January Special Days

January 1st- News Year 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 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- National Human Tracking 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 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:

-Live DJs

– Appetizers

– 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.

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!

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!

Toronto Light Festival

The Toronto Distillery District

January 17th-March 1st

The Toronto Light Festival offers a visual journey and a playful adventure throughout the walking streets of The Distillery District.

During the cold, dark days of winter, The Toronto Light Festival offers visitors a reason to bundle up, get outside and celebrate the season, creativity and life in the big city.

The Festival, now in its third year exhibits local and international light artists. Artworks are curated to educate, warm hearts, inspire or just put a smile on visitors faces.

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.

Winter Preparation

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.

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. A recent study found that kids who argue with their parents may actually end up better off than those who don't. The reason: teens who can disagree and say "no" to Mom and Dad are also more likely to have the guts to say "no" to friends, and not cave to peer pressure to do drugs, have sex, or engage in other risky behaviors

2. By 18, teens are considered "adults" in that they graduate high school, can vote, enlist in the military, move out of your house -- in many ways, they can act just like you! And yet, MRI scans from recent research have shown that the brain doesn't fully mature in the teen years. On the contrary, parts of the brain involved in decision-making -- and those are the important, adult-like parts! -- don't become fully developed until age 25.


WARREN: Canada has a vaping crisis and we need action

Last week, Nova Scotia became the first province in Canada to adopt a ban on flavoured vaping products, effective April 1, 2020. They will still allow the sale of vaping products that are either tobacco flavoured or without flavour.

The week before, Ontario municipalities Brampton and Mississauga announced a ban on vaping in outdoor public spaces.

Other cities and provinces are considering their bans and new rules.

This hodgepodge of rules and limits across Canada will lead to massive confusion, a lack of enforcement, and, most importantly, a lack of protection for millions of our kids.

What the heck are Health Canada and the federal government doing when it comes to vaping and e-cigarettes? Why did Health Canada approve products that now appear to not be safe?

Why haven’t our politicians lit a fire under the staff at Health Canada to act urgently to bring in new rules as well as find out why these products were allowed in the first place.A vaping ban would be the perfect issue for someone like Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer or NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to jump all over.They are still fighting the last election, which they both lost. Scheer and Singh need new issues to frame them on the side of working families.

Protecting kids from vaping is the perfect issue for them to advocate.A ban on vaping would be politically popular especially with parents struggling to keep their kids from becoming addicted to nicotine.In November, a Research Co. poll found three in four Canadians support enacting a temporary prohibition on the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes.In the online survey of a representative national sample, three-in-four Canadians (74%) would agree with their province implementing a vaping ban, such as the one that was recently enacted in Massachusetts.Support for a temporary ban on all vaping products is high across all regions of the country, from 71% in Alberta to 77% in Atlantic Canada.Just over one-in-ten Canadians (11%) say they used an electronic cigarette in the past year. The proportion is higher among those aged 18-to-34 (17%) and British Columbians (16%). More than four-in-five Canadians (85%, -6% since a Research Co. survey conducted in 2018) want vaping products that contain nicotine to display a warning, similar to the one used for tobacco products.

The state of Massachusetts has implemented a total ban on all e-cigarettes. Bringing in a ban is the smart and prudent thing to do.On Oct. 11, Health Canada issued a news release stating the following: “The Government of Canada also remains deeply concerned by the increase in vaping reported among Canadian youth.” On Oct. 31, they wrote to the retailers suggesting they change the way they sell vaping products.Consulting on candy-flavoured nicotine products is a waste of time. Writing letters and making suggestions is a joke.What exactly is Health Canada’s purpose or role? They are failing the country when it comes to vaping.We have a new generation of nicotine addicts, while Health Canada twiddles their thumbs.I’ve said it before, and I will repeat it — we have a crisis. It impacts the most vulnerable people we value and need the most — our kids.We need our prime minister and the opposition leaders to act now.Jim Warren is a Liberal strategist who worked for former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto mayor Mel Lastman.

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.


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