Our History

1975: The A Ma Baie Community Action League (AMBCAL), a group of concerned citizens, established a drop-in centre for young people in difficulty.

1977: An emergency, short-term shelter, known as Amcal, was incorporated as the West Island Youth Project.

1980-1989: Amcal was given a contract by Youth Horizons, & became part of a system of centres for court-mandated youth.

1990: Amcal closed for four months when Youth Horizons funding was removed (April), but re-opened (September) with financial support from the community & the Ministry of Health & Social Services (MSSS).

1991: Amcal offered a re-vamped program, using the family preservation model, with funding from various sources. Committed to serving West Island families in difficulty, & adhering to its mission to operate as a community-based organization, Amcal developed its foundational Residential Program (RP). Amcal believes that whenever possible, youth should receive care in their own milieu so that schools & the local community can be a significant source of support, in addition to families & peers. The unique Residential Program offered a structured therapeutic environment of respite care for youth and family counselling for their parents in a home-like, safe setting.

1995: Amcal signed a contract with Batshaw Youth & Family Centres to provide a Supervised Visitation Program (SVP) for parents of children in foster care.

1999: West Island Community Shares became a major source of funding for Amcal Family Services.

2002: Flexibility is a fundamental principle at Amcal. The agency continued to evolve and respond to the changing and growing needs of the West Island community. Amcal began to offer Outreach Family Counselling (OFC), a short-term program to address issues of family dynamics. Working in liaison with local CSSSs, Amcal developed preventative School-based Programs to promote positive social skills in students, & effective strategies for parents.

2005: In cooperation with the CSSS Lac St. Louis, a drop-in program to provide social support & educational activities for vulnerable young parents was initiated, which became known as Our Place (OP).

2010: Amcal began a contractual agreement with the MSSS, Supervision des Droits d’Accès (SDA), to provide a supervised setting for Superior Court-mandated visits between parents & children. In addition, Amcal began offering fee-for-service supervised visits to families divided by divorce.

2011: In its continuing commitment to provide accessible & innovative programs for changing circumstances, Amcal developed an additional OFC program for Emerging Adults, to ease the transition of young people from adolescence to adulthood.

2012: Amcal updated its popular after-school Anger Management & Conflict Resolution Program, designed to help young people develop positive attitudes & effective problem-solving strategies. In addition, Amcal began to offer a series of workshops to provide mutual support & concrete tools & techniques to help all those who are Parenting in the 21st Century.