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“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

John Bunyan


HYS would also 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. Foster parents, staff, and residents are encouraged to follow regular respiratory illness protocols and prevention strategieswhich 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.

July Special Days

Canada Day- July 1st 2021

Far from a celebration of independence, Canada Day marks the anniversary of Canada being united into one country as part of the British Empire, combining the three areas of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a shiny new package. No longer a dominion of the UK but a proud member of the Commonwealth, Canada still retains the Queen as its head of state, putting Liz’s face on their dollars.

For a list of virtual things to do can be seen at

World Youth Skills Day- July 15th 2021

The aim of World Youth Skills Day is to encourage youth to celebrate the value of acquiring skills like building, making, and creating as a way to achieve personal success and fulfillment.

World Day against Trafficking in Persons- July 30th 2021

World day against Trafficking in Persons is an annual event. People trafficking and modern day slavery is a massive worldwide problem with very few countries immune to human trafficking, and the event by the United Nations is to raise awareness and increase prevention of that.


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

Baking From Scratch

Enjoy a live free class of baking things from scratch!

Summer is here!

June 21st marks the first day of Summer!

Perfect time to do some 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. 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.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Write a Summertime Activity List

Have each person write down activities they would like to do over the summer on index cards, draw one each day or every time they say "I'm bored!"

Spoon Up Some Ice Cream

One of the quintessential summer symbols is ice cream. Make the first day of summer even better by stopping by your favorite ice cream place or setting up a make-your-own sundae bar for dessert.

Freshen Up Your Home

Perhaps spring cleaning got away from you. Let the official change of seasons be your cue to freshen up the look of everyone’s room.

Have a Picnic

Celebrate the first night of summer with a dinnertime picnic.

Play Ball

Set a trend for an active summer and organize a softball game with family and friends.

Camp Out

Kick off summer with a night under the stars. Go camping or hang out in your backyard. Do traditional fun camping things like grilling hot dogs and telling ghost stories.

Enjoy a Summer-themed Feast

What's your favorite summertime treat? Maybe it's BBQ ribs, burgers, s'mores or fresh fruits and veggies. Combine them in a meal that's a toast to the season.

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.


How Do You Motivate a Teen? Yes, It Is Possible!

Encouragement is the key to motivation. Every parenting tool we are sharing in this Positive Discipline for Teenagers book is designed to encourage and motivate teens. In this article we’ll cover Six surefire Teen Motivators: compliments, humor, let’s make a deal/collateral, motivation through involvement, joint problem-solving and follow-through.


People do better when they feel better. There’s nothing like getting a compliment for something you feel good about or being affirmed for who you are to improve motivation. This is true for everyone, but especially for teens, who often hear endless criticism, nagging, and complaining about their poor performance. If you’re used to using praise as a motivator, you may have a tough time finding something praiseworthy with your teen. That’s why we suggest encouragement because it works even when your kids are in the dumps and making mistakes.

One place to make sure everyone gets a compliment or appreciation is the family meeting. If you have weekly meetings and start each meeting with something positive, your teens might want to be at the meeting for that alone. A fifteen-year-old boy said his favorite time of the week was the appreciation/compliments he got at the family meeting.

During the week, look for ways to let your kids know how unique they are, what you appreciate about them, how adorable they were as little kids. Tell them stories about what they used to do when they were younger. Ask them if there’s something they wish people would say about them or like about them or notice about them, and then make sure you tell them exactly what they want to hear. They will like hearing it, even if they told you what they wanted.


Teenagers enjoy a sense of humor and respond to it much better than to lectures and nagging. The following situations illustrate how parents use humor to invite cooperation and to lighten things up.

When a teenage girl forgot to set the table, her mother served the dinner directly onto the table. Everyone laughed at the absurdity of the situation. The table was set on time from then on.

Peter was a father of three teens who used betting and guessing games to motivate the children and add humor to a situation. When Peter noticed the chores weren't getting done as agreed, he'd say, "Someone forgot to do something they agreed to. I'll give a dollar to the first person who guesses what it is." The teens ran around the house trying to find out who the culprit was so they could win a dollar.

Another time Peter said, "I'll bet two dollars you can't finish your yard work before the football game starts." He was effective using bets and games because they were infrequent and unexpected. Had Peter tried using bets as rewards and bribes, his children would have felt less respected because he would have inferred the only reason his teens helped the family was for the money.

Let's make a deal and using collateral

“I’ll make you a deal. If you walk the dog for me on weekdays, I’ll do a special favor for you on weekends.”

“I’ll make you a deal. I’ll pick you and your friends up from the movie if you can find another parent to take you there.”

“I’ll make you a deal. I’ll match whatever you save for that new sweater (guitar, game, etc.)"

Collateral works really well with teens. If they want to borrow something of yours, they need to give you collateral which you will return when they return the item. Good collateral might be a favorite piece of clothing, an iPod, an iPad, a cell phone, etc. It needs to be an item that has value to your teen.

Motivation through Involvement

Dana shared the following at a parenting class: “My daughter, Sage, is doing exceptionally well in school. She is getting the highest score on most tests, and she is not feeling challenged. At the last Parent Teacher Conference she asked for more challenging work from her teacher. Other members of the group wanted to know what Dana did to motivate Sage to do so well.”

Dana then shared the following: “I have learned that what works well with Sage is explaining to her the benefit of doing well. I use every opportunity I can to point them out to her. When she learns something new, I take it to the next level with more information and then point out to her that is what is so cool about learning, that you learn one new thing and it opens up a whole new world.”

Joint Problem Solving Works with Teens

Four Steps for Joint Problem Solving

  1. Teen shares his or her issues and goals.

  2. Parent shares his or her issues and goals.

  3. If goals of teen and parent are far apart, brainstorm to find options.

  4. Teen and parent pick an option they can both live with and try it out for a short time.

Follow -Through

The teen motivators we have discussed so far, are fairly quick and easy. Follow-through is more complicated and requires more guidance on your part, but it is worth the effort because it is a surefire method that really helps teens keep their agreements. Follow-through is an excellent alternative to authoritarian methods or permissiveness. With follow-through, you can meet the needs of the situation while maintaining dignity and respect for all concerned. Follow-through is also a way to help teens learn the life skills they need in order to feel good about themselves while learning to be contributing members of society.

Follow-through is a respectful, four-step approach to parenting teens that teaches cooperation, life skills, and responsibility in spite of resistance. It works whether you are trying to move your teen away from the computer, join the family, or keep up responsibilities to themselves and the family. The key is that follow-through involves you, because you are the only one who does the follow-through. The result is that your teen also follows through, but rarely without your participation. Think of this as one of your main co-pilot duties.

The Four Steps for Effective Follow-Through

  1. Have a friendly discussion with your teen to gather information about what is happening regarding the problem. (Listen first and then share your thoughts.)

  2. Brainstorm solutions with your teen. (Use your humor and throw in some exaggerations.) Choose one that both you and your teen can agree to. Finding a solution you both like may take some negotiating, because your favorite solution may be different from your teen's favorite.

  3. Agree on a date and time deadline.

  4. Understand teens well enough to know that the deadline probably won’t be met and simply follow through on the agreement by kindly and firmly holding your teen accountable.

Before we provide examples of effect follow-through, it is important to understand the traps that defeat follow-through. Four Traps that defeat follow-through

  1. Believing that teens think the way you think and have the same priorities you have.

  2. Getting into judgments and criticism instead of sticking to the issue.

  3. Not getting agreements in advance that include a specific time deadline.

  4. Not maintaining dignity and respect for yourself and your teen

In our workshops, to help parents learn the art of follow-through and to show them that it really does work, we often ask for a volunteer to role-play a teen who has not kept an agreement to do a task, such as mowing the lawn. We then point to the Four Steps for Effective Follow-Through and ask the volunteer to pretend we have already gone through them as a parent and a teen. To set up the role-play, we ask the teen to sit in a chair and pretend he or she is playing a video game. The deadline has arrived, but the task is not done. We then role-play the adult who follows-through by using the following Four Hints for Effective Follow-Through.

Four Hints for Effective Follow-Through

  1. Keep comments simple, concise, and friendly. ("I notice you didn't do your task. Would you please do that now?")

  2. In response to objections, ask, "What was our agreement?"

  3. In response to further objections, shut your mouth and use nonverbal communication. (Point to your watch after every argument. Smile knowingly. Give a hug and point to your watch again.) It helps to understand the concept of "less is more." The less you say the more effective you will be. The more you say, the more ammunition you give your kids for an argument—which they will win every time.

  4. When your teen concedes (sometimes with great annoyance), say, "Thank you for keeping our agreement."

One thing we ask of the volunteer role-playing the teen is to be in the present moment. By this we mean the volunteer should respond to what is being done now rather than responding in ways that a teen would react to disrespectful methods. When the volunteer does this, it is amazing how quickly the "teen" comes to agreement (after a little resistance).

Kind and Firm Skills to Remember

  1. You can motivate your teens with encouragement which is very different from trying to get your teens to do what you want.

  2. Humor, collateral, let’s make a deal, and involvement are positive motivation tools.

  3. There is one surefire way to get your kids to keep their agreements, and it's called follow-through. It may be a lot of work for you in the beginning, but it will be worth every minute of the time you spend to train both you and your teen to use better habits.

  4. Read the four steps, the four traps, and the four hints for successful follow- through again and again, because they are very different from how you would normally respond as a parent—and as a human.

  5. You must be there at the first deadline to set up the follow-through. It won't work in the long run without you there in the beginning.

  6. If you whine or complain that using follow-through is too much work, track how much time you spend reminding and nagging your teen instead. Notice the effect that nagging has on you and on your teen. Keep a checklist of how often the task you are nagging about actually gets done. We call this a reality check.

  7. Follow-through will help you use fewer words and your kids will hear you better.

  8. Don't hesitate to prepare in advance and maybe even practice with a friend. You can always listen to the Empowering Teenagers and Yourself in the Process CD for a live demonstration. It helps!

  9. We do not recommend making contracts with your teens. If you need to write information down as a reminder for both of you, that is respectful and effective. Setting up a contract means you are treating your teenager like a client or an adversary. If you do sign a contract, don't be surprised by your teen's attitudes.

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 providingthe support. The relationship must be one of trust and transparency, inorder 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 thestrength-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 isprimary. 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 staffand 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 ofbusiness...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 yourrequest 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 hoursand 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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