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Amal Youth and Family Centre provides family-based care, across Newfoundland and Labrador, to children and youth who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. Young people are referred for family-based care by the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development. These young people have experienced relationship-based trauma such as maltreatment, neglect and/or multiple placements, and often present with challenging behaviours and complex needs. They require an intensive, therapeutic healing environment with a caring family. We provide exceptional supports to our families to help meet the specific needs of the young people placed in their home.

Why is Family-Based Care needed?

There are many reasons why young people must be removed from their families and homes, such as maltreatment, abuse, neglect, and violence. Family-based care provides young people with the opportunity to heal from their traumatic life experiences in a family setting. Family-based carers provide young people with safety and security in a supportive, therapeutic and caring home environment.

What is the difference between Foster Care and Family-based Care?

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Foster Care is provided directly through the Government Department, Children, Seniors and Social Development (CSSD). Supports and services are provided through CSSD or Foster Parents are referred to external service providers for additional support. Family-based Care is offered through community organizations, like Amal Youth and Family Centre, to fill gaps and create more placements for children and/or sibling groups who would typically be harder to match with traditional foster families. Family-based Carers must meet all the same requirements as foster parents and undergo an assessment similar to a fostering assessment. At Amal, we offer extensive training and support, in-house, to our Carers to make sure they are equipped to meet the needs of children placed. We also offer a generous compensation package so that our Carers can financially manage to have one stay-at-home parent if that would be beneficial for the placement.

What are the requirements to become a Family-Based Carer?

We are looking for caring, enthusiastic, empathic individuals who are open to providing care in their home and willing to take advantage of all the supports we offer. We value diversity and inclusion, and we welcome applicants from all ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, religions, genders, and sexual orientations.

Applicants must:

  • Be age 25 or older
  • Be able to obtain a clear criminal record check and a clear child protection record check
  • Have a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle
  • Have access to a network of family and friends who can help alleviate the pressures of providing family-based care
  • Be willing to attend ongoing training and a carer support group
  • Be willing to work as an integral part of an interdisciplinary treatment team and accept support from qualified professionals, in their own home
  • Have a strong desire to help children, young people, and families
  • Have a willingness to share their life experiences with a child or young person placed in their care
  • Have the ability to be patient and understanding while seeking a child/young person’s trust and acceptance
  • Be willing to have a child or young person in their home for a short or long-term placement

After completing an assessment and training program with Amal, our carers will:

  • Have an understanding of the differences between caring for their own children and a child in family-based care
  • Have an awareness of how caring for a young person with complex needs will impact their immediate and extended family
  • Have an understanding of trauma-informed, attachment-centred care and how to create a healing environment
  • Create an environment of physical, social, and psychological safety
  • Recognize and meet young people’s physiological needs
  • Structure experiences to enhance emotional and behavioral self-regulation
  • Build and strengthen resilience in young people
  • Master the use of proactive and neurorelational strategies for behaviour change
  • Have an understanding of their own ability to cope with a young person’s behaviours and emotional needs
  • Understand the importance of helping a child/young person bond with and feel affection for other people
  • Understand the importance of helping a child/young person cope with their anger
  • Utilize their living space in a purposeful manner to facilitate growth and development
  • Understand that they are at the beginning stage of learning and will continue to engage in on-going training to develop their skills
Supports and Services Amal Provides
  • Regular visits and phone contact with a program supervisor
  • After hours support, 7 days per week, 365 days per year
  • A comprehensive compensation package
  • A carer support group with an experienced therapeutic facilitator
  • A variety of organized family activities
  • A comprehensive and specialized training program including Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI), The PersonBrain Model™ and Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)®
  • Access to a therapist for consultation as well as individual or family therapy for any young person placed
  • Educational supports
  • Professional supports in your home from qualified Family Engagement Workers.

+ more as deemed necessary or helpful for the young person and your family

If you choose to become a family-based carer you can be assured that you are taking on this important role with the support from our experienced team of professionals.

Are you interested in the rewarding experience of providing therapeutic care to a young person in your own home?

The vision of Amal Youth and Family Centre is to become a centre of hope, and a warm, welcoming, respectful and diverse organization in which children, youth and families from myriad backgrounds thrive and succeed together.


St. John’s Office
92 Elizabeth Avenue
Suite 101
St. John’s, NL A1A 1W7