March 2020 Newsletter
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." --Henry Ford
A special thanks to a generous donation, a number of our residents had the pleasure to attend a Toronto maple leaf game with their Foster Parents and had their own suite.
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
Women's History Month
This year’s theme for Women’s History Month is Make an impact, in honour of the courageous women and girls who have made a lasting impact as pioneers in their fields. Whether as business leaders, politicians, researchers, artists or activists, they have helped shape Canada into a thriving, diverse and prosperous country through their achievements and desire to make a difference.
March Special Days
March 2-8 is Social Work Week
In Ontario, the first week of March marks the start of Social Work Week. Activities during this time highlight the role of the profession and recognize the valuable contributions made by social workers each and every day. To celebrate, a theme is selected every year that reflects the ideals and values of social workers.
March 8th is International Women's Day
is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.
International Women's Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.
March 17th is St.Patricks Day!
March 31- Transgender Day of Visibility
International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.
10 things you can do for Transgender Day of Visibility:
Career Pathway for Women
March 3, 2020
263 Queen St. East Unit 14, Brampton Ontario, L6W 4K6
Free coaching session exclusively for newcomer women on making an effective career change in Canada and eventually landing a job, *Registration required
St. Patricks Day Parade
March 15, 2020
Toronto- Starting at George/Bloor
March 16-21, 2020
Better living CTR
SpringFestTO (formerly known as Wizard World) returns for March Break – offering families an indoor fun park with the latest in children’s entertainment, games and activities. This indoor fun park has entertainment to thrill the entire family and kids of all ages with over 25 mechanical and inflatable rides, food vendors, a little tots area for kids under 5, arts and crafts and daily shows.
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
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.
March Break Activities!
These are great opportunities to get out as a group and have some fun!
March Break at the Zoo March 14 to 22: This March Break, get acquainted with the city’s most beloved furry, feathery and four-legged friends at the Toronto Zoo. Have a zoo-tastic time exploring over 10 kms of walking trails, watch a carnivore feeding, listen to a Daily Keeper Talk and take part in Terra Lumina, an enchanting night walk with multimedia effects and animated projections.
March Break at the ROM March 14 to 22: Visit the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and take your little explorers on a journey to the Hundred Acre Wood to meet Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends at the Winnie-the-Pooh Exploring a Classic exhibition! Or check out the Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches exhibition to learn more facts about mosquitos, vampire bats and more!
March Break at Playdium This March Break, release the kid in you-and bring your kids along, too! Mississauga’s Playdium is the ultimate place to play – it’s 40,000 square feet filled with 200 high-tech attractions, rides and simulators, including MaxFlight Roller Coaster Simulator and Laser Maze. Bring the whole family and a whole lot of energy to burn!
Sugar Shack TO at Sugar Beach
March 14 to 15: Get your fill of sweet liquid gold as the kiddies munch on maple-infused goodies at the Winter Marketplace, then warm up with a Maple Sugaring Demonstration and sample the sweet stuff. Plus, parents can head over to the Sugar Shack Bar Tent to warm up with some special winter drinks including mulled apple cider, craft beer and specialty hot chocolate.
March Break Visitations
If anyone of the residents plan on having visitations during the week, it is imperative that they be planned beforehand and properly. Obtain permission from their workers, clearly communicate the details with the family and your resource worker/manager, make check-ins a priority for group homes, ensure that visitation logs are being completed.
Spring is here!
March 20th marks the first day of Spring!
Perfect time to do some spring 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 which means that the snow has melted. 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.
Just for fun, try to solve the following brain teasers. The answers will be at the bottom of the newsletter. Good luck!
1. I build bridges of silver and crowns of gold. Who am I?
2. What do the letter T and an island have in common?
DID YOU KNOW?...
Teens who need to loose weight should stop staying up so late
Obese teens who diet to lose weight may have more success if they also focus on getting enough rest, a small study suggests. “Sleep deprivation may be associated with increased caloric intake, and decreased physical activity, resulting in obesity,” said senior study author Dr. Juan Manuel Malacara of the University of Guanajuato in Leon, Mexico. To see if extra sleep might make it easier to lose weight, researchers asked 52 obese teens to eat 500 fewer calories per day than usual. Then, they chose 25 teens at random to follow a personalized sleep plan designed to help them get up to an extra hour of rest at night, while the other 27 kept to their usual sleep routines. After four weeks, teens on sleep plans increased their average sleep time by about 1.2 hours a night and lost an average of 2.1 kilograms (4.6 pounds). Without the sleep plans, teens only increased their sleep by about a half hour, on average, and they only lost an average of 1.2 kg (2.6 lb). The results suggest that promoting extra sleep may help dieters succeed with weight loss, Malacara said by email. “Sleep can influence the secretion of hormones that regulate appetite, (reducing) craving for food and (making people) more likely to be successful in cutting calories,” said Tianyi Huang of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. “More sleep will make people feel less sleepy or fatigued during the day, then people are more likely to work out more, leading to higher energy expenditure, which is good for weight loss,” Huang, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “Sufficient sleep can also reduce stress, which is known to favor weight gain.” Beyond its small size, another limitation of the study is that researchers didn’t follow the youth for longer to determine whether sleep might impact their odds of achieving sustainable weight loss.
Researchers also relied on teens to report sleep time in diaries and didn’t objectively measure how much they slept. The study also didn’t look at exercise, or at what teens ate. In theory, however, better-rested adolescents might be more conscious about choosing healthier foods and less likely to succumb to the temptation of high-calorie, high-carb sweets and junk foods, said Anna Rangan of the University of Sydney in Australia. “Shorter sleep duration increases the time available for eating, especially in the evening where sedentary activities, such as watching television, and snacking on highly palatable and energy-dense foods are common,” Rangan, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. Parents may need to encourage teens to change their evening routines, said Kristen Knutson, a researcher at Northwestern University in Chicago who wasn’t involved in the study. “One way to improve the sleep of teens is to avoid bright light at night, particularly right before bedtime,” Knutson said by email. “This includes light from smart phones and tablets - although getting teens to put these away at night may be challenging.” The effort is worth it, though, to avoid poor sleep becoming a lifelong problem, said Stacey Simon of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora. “Health habits learned in adolescence often continue into adulthood, so learning good sleep and eating strategies in adolescence is critical,” Simon, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.
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.
1. A dentist!
2. They are both in the middle of WATER