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February 2020 Newsletter

"The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they do"- Kobe Bryant


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

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.

The 2020 theme for Black History Month is: "Canadians of African Descent: Going forward, guided by the past." This was inspired by the theme of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).

During Black History Month, Canadians 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.

The commemoration of Black History Month dates back to 1926, when Harvard-educated African American historian Carter G. Woodson proposed setting aside a time devoted to honour the accomplishments of African Americans and to heighten awareness of Black history in the United States. This led to the establishment of Negro History Week in 1926. Celebrations of Black history began in Canada also shortly thereafter. During the early 1970s, the week became known as Black History Week. It was expanded into Black History Month in 1976.

In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons.

In February 2008, Senator Donald Oliver, the first Black man appointed to the Senate, introduced the Motion to Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month. It received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008. The adoption of this motion completed Canada’s parliamentary position on Black History Month.

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 to learn more.

February Special Days

February 17th- Family Day

On Family Day, many people plan and take part in activities aimed at the whole family. These include visiting art exhibitions, watching movies, skating on outdoor ice rinks, playing board games, and taking part in craft activities. Some communities plan special public events, and art galleries and museums may have reduced price or free entry. Take your youth and have a fun outing!

February Events

Ekow Nimako Building Black: Civilizations

Aga Khan Museum

Up until February 23rd, 2020

Contemporary Ghanaian-Canadian artist Ekow Nimako channels Africa’s remarkable history and its powerful future in an Afrofuturist exhibition featuring a series of stunning sculptures built with over 100,000 black LEGO® pieces.

THE FUTURE MEETS THE PAST Using LEGO® in astounding ways, Nimako presents highly detailed small-scale pieces that expand on the imagery of Africa 1000 years ago to forge a vision of the continent 1000 years into the future. The exhibition culminates in a monumental 30-square-foot centrepiece that evokes a utopian metropolis, on display in our Museum Collection.

SHATTERING ASSUMPTIONS Nimako’s works respond to the exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time, which reveals how western Africa was the cultural and economic heart of the world during the medieval period. Nimako’s sculptures build on the cultural symbolism, renown scholarship, and architectural ingenuity of medieval Africa’s kingdoms, shattering assumptions about the region, and offering viewers a fuller, and more complex, picture of the past.

AFROFUTURIST APPROACH Nimako takes this remarkable history and blends it with the concepts, aesthetics, and visionary scope of Afrofuturism — a philosophy that explores the intersection of technology and race to visualize a powerful future for the African diaspora. The results are sculptures that embody epic strength and powerful hope.

INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION Each of the sculptures reference Nimako’s overarching theme of caravans, or journeys — whether for spiritual quests, commerce, or the exchange of ideas. Building on the concept of idea-exchange, visitors can build their own masterpiece with the thousands of LEGO® pieces found around the centrepiece metropolis.

THE LATEST CHAPTER Civilizations is the latest chapter in Nimako’s dynamic Building Black sculpture series. The artist began using LEGO® pieces exclusively in his practice in 2014. He has since cultivated a unique approach to building with the iconic material, displaying masterful attention to fluidity and form. His content is deeply rooted in otherworldly Black narratives and draws on his fascination with architecture, futuristic cultures, and ancient civilizations. He is a graduate of York University’s Fine Arts program and he lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Women in Motion 2.0

February 1st, 2020

Central Public School

The Girls Empowerment Movement (GEM) is proud to present the second part to our Women in Motion 2.0 program, a FREE event focused on reducing barriers for young women to get active in our local community. There will be hands-on activities led by the GEM team on health and wellness, a dance choreography session by trained professionals, and a keynote from Lana from CoachingbyLana, a life coach and NLP. We welcome young women & non-binary folks (ages 13-25) of all identities and abilities to attend this event! There are a limited number of tickets due to venue capacity. If you can no longer attend, please kindly let us know so we can ensure those on the waitlist and interested can attend. Refreshments will be served. Bus tickets and volunteer hours can be provided on request. GEM is an open and inclusive organization. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. This event is brought to you thanks to the TakingITGlobal #RisingYouth Fund and support from Rapport Youth & Family Services.

Celebrate Black History Month

February 1st, 2020

February is recognized nationwide as Black History Month, a time to honour the legacy and continuing contributions of Black Canadians. Brampton is hosting two events in February in celebration of our city’s Black African and Caribbean communities.

Kick off the month with a flag raising ceremony on Saturday, February 1 at 2 pm in Ken Whillans Square, and bring the month to a close with the Beat of Black History Month event on Friday, February 28 at City Hall. This closing event will feature a marketplace with food and retail vendors from 12 to 8 pm in the Conservatory, and a ceremony including song, dance and spoken word performances at 6 pm in the Atrium.

Catholic Childrens Aid Society- Black History Month Celebration

February 28th, 2020


The Brighton Convention & Event Centre, 2155 McNicoll Ave (between Kennedy Road & Midland Avenue), Scarborough ON, M1V 5P1 Free Parking| TTC Stop In front of Building Buffet Dinner| Door Prizes | Cultural Shoppers Marketplace (Art, African clothing and apparel, jewellery, cultural books, food and natural hair and skin products so bring cash to shop on site) This is a Free Event.

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. Family is very important to teenagers but the thing they can’t live without is their phone. The number of teens with smartphones has doubled in two years. 80 per cent of teenagers now have a smartphone.

2. Most bullying of boys occurs at school. 74% of teenage boys who are bullied say their bullying happens at school, while bullying of girls is shared more equally between school (55%) and online (43%).


Social Media Making Teens Feel Less Lonely?

Today’s teens are constantly on their smartphones, many check social media “constantly” and prefer texting over face-to-face communication.

But a new poll finds that these same teens also say that social media has a positive effect on their lives, helping them feel more confident, less lonely and less depressed.

The poll, released this week by Common Sense Media, found that 89 per cent of teenagers have their own smartphone. That’s up from 41 per cent in 2012, the last time the survey was conducted.

But while 2012’s teens were all over Facebook, the age group’s presence on the social network has plummeted in the past six years. Only 15 per cent of teens now say Facebook is their main social network. In 2012, 68 per cent did.

The survey was conducted in March and April among 1,141 teens from 13 to 17 years old.

-The Star

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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