November 2020 Newsletter
"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." --Helen Keller
HYS would like to thank all of our employees who are working during this difficult time making sure all youth and staff are safe and making sure that Hanrahan Youth Services runs smoothly and safely. Your work is recognized and truly appreciated. This pandemic is a world changing event, we are all going to remember where we were during this difficult time including the youth you are working with. Please recognize the important roles that you have and for that we want to send a sincere thank you.
As you are most likely aware, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an international public health emergency, and all Publicly Funded Ontario Schools are to be closed until May.
Foster parents, staff, and residents are encouraged to follow regular respiratory illness protocols and prevention strategies which include:
Wash/sanitize hands frequently as possible
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Cough or sneeze into a tissues or sleeve rather than hands
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Stay home if you are ill
Consult Telehealth or your physician if you have any concerns
If you believe, or have been advised, that any caregiver, staff or child has been in contact or exposed to the COVID-19, please contact Bob or Brian right away, along with the resident’s worker/supervisor immediately to discuss the appropriate next steps.
In light of recent events with COVID-19 and the restrictions in place by businesses to limit interaction, Hanrahan Youth Services’ head office will be locked during business hours until further notice. Only administrative staff will be permitted on site during this time. Should you require any documents/cheques, etc. or to drop anything off, please contact Erin with enough time to prepare whatever it is that you require. The mailbox attached to the home will be utilized for dropping off and picking up items.
Congratulations to all our youth who have graduated this year!
Hanrahan Youth Services is proud to have donated to Black Lives Matter
There are many ways to donate in support of Black Lives Matter!
November Special Days
November 1st- Daylight Saving Time Ends
November 11th- Remembrance Day
Armistice Day is on 11 November and is also known as Remembrance Day.
It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918.
A two-minute silence is held at 11am to remember the people who have died in wars.
There is also Remembrance Sunday every year, which falls on the second Sunday in November.
November 20th- National Child Day
National Child Day is celebrated in Canada on November 20 in recognition of our country’s commitment to upholding the rights of children and two historic events: the 1959 signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
2020 marks the 31st anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out the rights of children with 54 articles that provide us with a solid road map of what is needed to raise healthy and happy children and youth.
Celebrating National Child Day is about celebrating children as active participants in their own lives and in communities, as active citizens who can and should meaningfully contribute to decision-making.
November 25th- International Day for the Elimination of Violence on Women and Girls
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.
In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing:
intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide);
sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment);
human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation);
female genital mutilation; and
To further clarify, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
The adverse psychological, sexual and reproductive health consequences of VAWG affect women at all stages of their life. For example, early-set educational disadvantages not only represent the primary obstacle to universal schooling and the right to education for girls; down the line they are also to blame for restricting access to higher education and even translate into limited opportunities for women in the labour market.
While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable - for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.
Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights. All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - to leave no one behind - cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls.
Fall House Maintenance
As the seasons begin to change from the warmth of summer into the crispness of fall, memories made across the summer shouldn’t be the only thing on our minds. Friendly reminder that furnace filters need to be changed as well as all battery operated smoke alarms/carbon dioxide detectors should be tested changed and if any concerns, brought to the attention of your resource worker/manager.
While the leaves change and fall to leave a lovely scene of colours, please ensure that yards are raked and eavesdrops are free from leaves and tree debris as we prep for the next season on hand. Invite your youth to pump some muscle with you during your yard clean up!
ONLINE VIRTUAL EVENTS
EventBrite holds many online virtual classes & events! This is a great way of learning new things, or keeping busy but still staying safe & healthy!
Virtual Dance Fitness Party- Come dance the stress and the pounds away to a mix of latin, afrobeats, hip hop and R&B rhythms EVERY Wednesday at 6pm EST and Friday at 7pm EST. for only $2!
Gentle Yoga for Terrible Times With Joyce
November 7th- Free Classes
join us on November 15th at 7pm for our Autumn Concert. This year’s concert will be online and feature a fabulous line-up of our pupil musicians who are delighted to collectively bring you an evening of autumnal entertainment. We will be screening the concert via Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter
Brampton Santa Claus Parade 2020
Watch the Santa Claus Parade Virtually!
Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2020
Join us on Saturday, December 5th @ 7pm on CTV & CTV2 for The Original Santa Claus Parade.
Just for fun, try to solve the following brain teasers. The answers will be at the bottom of the newsletter. Good luck!
1. What makes this number unique: 8,549,176,320?
2.What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
DID YOU KNOW?...
Teens who participate in extracurriculars have better mental health: UBC study
A new study out of UBC has found that teenagers, especially girls, have better mental health when they spend more time taking part in extracurricular activities, like sports and art, and less time in front of screens.
The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, found that spending less than two hours per day of recreational screen time was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction and optimism, and lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, especially among girls, the researchers found.
Similarly, extracurricular participation was associated with better mental health outcomes.
“Although we conducted this study before the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings are especially relevant now when teens may be spending more time in front of screens in their free time if access to extracurricular activities, like sports and arts programs is restricted due to COVID-19,” said the study’s lead author Eva Oberle, assistant professor with the Human Early Learning Partnership in the UBC school of population and public health.
“Our findings highlight extracurricular activities as an asset for teens’ mental wellbeing. Finding safe ways for children and teens to continue to participate in these activities during current times may be a way to reduce screen time and promote mental health and wellbeing.”
Data for this study was drawn from a population-level survey involving 28,712 Grade 7 students from 365 schools in 27 school districts across B.C.
The researchers examined recreational screen time such as playing video games, watching television, browsing the internet, as well as participating in outdoor extracurricular activities such as sport and art programs after school.
They then compared its association with positive and negative mental health indicators.
Highlights of the study’s findings include the following:
Adolescents who participated in extracurricular activities were significantly less likely to engage in recreational screen-based activities for two or more hours after school
Taking part in extracurricular activities was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction and optimism, and lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms
Longer screen time (more than two hours a day) was associated with lower levels of life satisfaction and optimism, and higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms
Differences among boys and girls, with longer screen time negatively affecting girls’ mental health more significantly than boys
Among both boys and girls, however, mental health was strongest when teens both participated in extracurricular activities and spent less than two hours on screen time
Oberle says further research is needed to examine why the negative effects of screen time were more detrimental for girls than for boys. She also hopes to focus future research on the effects of different types of screen time.
“We do know that some forms of screen time can be beneficial, like maintaining connections with friends and family members online if we cannot see them in person, but there are other types of screen time that can be quite harmful,” she added.
“There are many nuances that are not well understood yet and that are important to explore.”
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.It has each number, zero through nine, listed in alphabetical order.