January 2021 Newsletter
"Be the CHANGE that you wish to see the world"
A Letter from the Directors:
As we know 2020 has been one eventful year. The past year has taught us many new life lessons and great awareness. A big thank you for working so hard during the difficult times and making it the best for our youth, despite all that has been thrown at us. We hope everyone had a Great Holiday and hope this New year brings each and every one of our staff health and happiness. Have a great 2021.
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!
Please ensure all youth have all necessities for the cold winter-- winter coat, winter boots, gloves & hat
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's....it only comes once a year!
January 20th- International Day of Acceptance
The International Day of Acceptance is a day dedicated to social acceptance of disability and to honor the late Annie Hopkins, founder of 3E Love and creator of the International Symbol of Acceptance.
Tell the world you embrace who you are; a person with social rights, who has an opinion, who has interests, who has goals and who loves life. You are a person who is empowered to make a difference in the world and will not be without a voice in society. You are not living disabled, you are living.
Tell the world that you are accepting of people with disabilities. As our parents, siblings, relatives, spouses, children, lovers, coworkers, teachers, personal assistants, friends, and anyone else – you also have a role in our culture and life. You can start change by demonstrating acceptance and showing the world that you embrace people of all abilities.
Embrace. Educate. Empower. Love Life.
Winter House Maintenance
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.
ONLINE VIRTUAL EVENTS
Due to the lockdown- please see events online for fun
EventBrite holds many online virtual classes & events! This is a great way of learning new things, or keeping busy but still staying safe & healthy!
Gentle Yoga For Terrible Times-
Simple and accessible breathing exercises, stretches, and guided meditation for all bodies, minds, and spirits. NO EXPERIENCE necessary
Virtual Meet and greet at Lincoln Park Zoo
January 9, 2021 11AM
Lincoln Park Zoo is home to nearly 200 species. During this virtual experience, you will start your day with an intimate look at the fascinating animals living at Lincoln Park Zoo. Join Mike Murray, curator of mammals, on a journey to learn more about a specific animal group— from their habits and diets to their individualized care and general personality traits.
Louvre Museum Live Tour
Select your date
This 60 minute online virtual tour of the Louvre includes:
-Licensed Expert in Louvre Art and History
-Tour the Louvre on this virtual experience
-Ask any questions you want in live Q&A
Anti Human Trafficking Youth Summit
January 9, 2021
The summit will focus on the youth aspects of helping in the fight against human trafficking and equipping parents, youth and community stakeholders with recognizing signs of human trafficking and how to report.
Youth will be equipped with the tools they need to recognize warning signs and start a very important conversation about this issue.
The cold and staying in is not something to look forward to…But these fun activities in the winter are!
Go Skating There are plenty of outdoor facilities for skating in the GTA.
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.
Just for fun, try to solve the following brain teasers. The answers will be at the bottom of the newsletter. Good luck!
1. I do not have any special powers, but I can predict the score of any football game before it begins. How can I do this?
2. First, I threw away the outside and cooked the inside. Then I ate the outside and threw away the inside. What did I eat?
DID YOU KNOW?...
Junk Food Consumption Linked to Poor Sleep In Teens
Eating too much junk food has been linked with poor sleep quality in teens, a University of Queensland-led study has found. UQ School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences researcher Associate Professor Asad Khan said frequent consumption of soft drinks and fast food was strongly associated with sleep disturbance in adolescents around the world.
“This is the first study to examine unhealthy diets and stress-related sleep disturbance on a global scale in high school students from 64 countries,” Dr Khan said.
“Overall, 7.5 per cent of adolescents reported stress-related sleep disturbance, which was more common among females than males.
“Sleep disturbance increased with more frequent consumption of carbonated soft drinks, that often contain caffeine, and/or fast foods, that are traditionally energy-dense and nutrient-poor.
“Teens who drank more than three soft drinks per day had 55 per cent higher odds of reporting sleep disturbance than those who only drank one soft drink a day.
“Males who ate fast foods on more than four days per week had 55 per cent higher odds of reporting sleep disturbance than those who only ate fast food once a week, while the odds were 49 per cent higher in females.
“Frequent consumption of soft drinks more than three times a day, and fast foods more than four days per week, were significantly associated with sleep disturbance in all but low-income countries.”
Data was collected from the World Health Organization’s Global School-based Health Surveys between 2009 and 2016, which included 175,261 students aged 12 to 15 years from 64 low, middle, and high income countries across South East Asia, Africa, parts of South America and the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Teens in high-income countries had the highest association between frequent intake of soft drinks and sleep disturbance,” Dr Khan said.
“Females in these countries showed the biggest connection between regularly eating fast foods and sleep problems.
“Adolescents in South-Asia showed a high connection between drinking soft drink and sleep disturbance, while those in the Western-Pacific region showed the greatest link between both soft drink and fast food consumption and sleep issues.”
Dr Khan said the findings were of particular concern as poor quality sleep adversely impacted on adolescent wellbeing and cognitive development.
“The targeting of these unhealthy behaviours needs to be a priority of policies and planning,” he said.
“Strategies need to be customised and tailored across countries or regions to meet their local needs.
“As stress-related sleep disturbance was more common among girls than boys, girls should be a priority target group for associated interventions that could target stress management and sleep quality.
“Creating school environments to limit access to carbonated soft drinks and fast foods, and introducing a sugar tax to lessen the sales of soft drinks may be beneficial.
“Family can also be instrumental in promoting healthy eating as the adoption and maintenance of children's dietary behaviours are influenced by their familial environments.”
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. The score before any football game is always 0-0
2. Corn on the Cob