Amal Youth and Family Centre provides family engagement services, across Newfoundland and Labrador, to families who are in crisis, are experiencing mental health concerns, and/or are experiencing a variety of difficulties in their lives. Families who are referred to Amal for services are usually considered to have complex needs and challenging behaviours, and require an intensive, therapeutic service option. All programs are individualized to meet the specific needs of a family.
Amal is committed to providing high quality standards of care for all families. Amal provides supportive, nurturing, and therapeutic environments for families based on the following:
- All behaviour is purposeful and needs-based, and all individuals have needs that must be met in order for healthy development to occur. These include, but are not limited to, needs for safety, security, trust, belonging, affection, recognition, power, competence, self-esteem, generosity, and autonomy.
- Assessment and intervention is developmental, trauma informed, and focused on providing a rich array of diverse and reparative experiences to stimulate growth in all functional domains.
- There is a strong focus on relational practice, providing positive social interactions, and facilitating the development of healthy relationships and a sense of belonging.
- Intervention is needs-led, focused on identifying the needs underlying the family’s issues, and helping them to meet these needs in healthier ways.
- Intervention is strength-based, individualized and focused on promoting resiliency, competence and opportunities for families to experience success.
- All members of the family are considered an integral part of the therapeutic process.
- Amal will respect, promote and protect the rights of all individuals in the family unit. Families will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion, culture or sexuality.
- Amal will employ highly trained, skilled and competent staff while also providing ongoing staff development and training opportunities.
In order to deliver a truly therapeutic environment for families availing of our services, a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach is required. At Amal, we value a person-centered approach which includes having our families actively involved in setting their own goals, whenever possible, and we honour the family’s right to choose which type of service and programming they engage in. The following components are considered critical to the provision of quality care in our family engagement services:
Intensive in-home supports: We offer mentorship, training, relational engagement, activity programming, recreation, experiential counselling, crisis intervention, cultural connection and transitional assistance within the family home.
Reunification supports: We offer support to families when children and youth are transitioning out of care and back to the family home with their birth parents, or into a kinship care arrangement.
Respite: We provide breaks for family members, in a planned and supportive manner, either in the family home or an alternate location.
Skills training: One-on-one support focused on assessment and development of socially significant skills and the acquisition of socially acceptable behaviours.
Coaching/Mentoring: Evidence-based assessment and intervention for challenging behaviour. Offering training/coaching to families to help them prevent/manage challenging behaviours, increase skills in a multitude of areas, all while keeping the family’s wants and needs in mind.
Amal provides training to all staff in the following areas:
- First Aid/CPR
- Understanding and Dealing with Challenging Behaviours
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
- Child and Youth Development
- Understanding and Managing Aggressive Behaviour (UMAB)
- Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Families (TCI)
- The PersonBrain™ Model
- Vicarious Trauma
- The Purposeful Use of Daily Life Events (DLE)
- Working with Families
Training is ongoing throughout the employment period and tailored to meet the developmental needs of staff, and the special needs of individual young people and families in areas such as FASD, sexualized behaviour, and intellectual disabilities. All efforts are made to ensure that the staff are informed and educated in areas that are relevant to each child. Additionally, employees are sponsored to attend local, national and international workshops and conferences in relevant areas.