Residential program

Help for troubled teens; support for worried parents; hope for a happier family. 

Maybe you’re a parent of a teen who is tired of dealing with a “crisis a day.” Maybe you’re worried the deteriorating atmosphere is having a bad effect on the other children in your home. Maybe you’re wondering is this just normal teen angst, or testing the limits? Maybe you’re just exhausted, & need time to take a deep breath, re-focus, & regain some physical & emotional energy and perspective so you can deal more effectively with family issues.

AMCAL’s Residential Program may be a solution. This is a voluntary program for families with teens between the ages of 12—17 years who need help navigating the challenging adolescent years. AMCAL has offered this unique program for more than 30 years, & we’re proud of our success. Our ultimate goal is family integration—keeping families together. There are 2 components to the program: 

  • For the teen: a minimum of an eight-week stay, (maximum of 14 weeks) from Monday to Thursday, in AMCAL’s Residence. The teen is required to attend school on weekdays, & participate in structured, skill-building groups in the evenings. On weekends, teens return to the family home, to practice applying the skills and techniques hey have learned.
  • For the parents: simultaneously, 14 weeks of family counselling (i.e. designed to extend beyond the youth’s residential stay), to explore your family’s value system & help you develop a model of consistent parenting that works best for your family. Parents are also required to participate in a weekly Parents’ Support Group for the duration of the teen’s residential stay. This Group is integral to the program, designed to offer parents mutual support & sharing. Parents will also be given effective tools and techniques to deal with raising a teen in today’s society.   

Not sure if this is the right program for your family?

Ask yourself if you have noticed more than four or five of the following 10 “red flags”—signs suggesting that potentially dangerous boundaries are being crossed, & that your family might need AMCAL's professional intervention:

  • At school: your teen’s grades suddenly drop, or s/he starts failing courses
  • From school or home: your teen is chronically absent, or running away—to escape dealing with issues
  • At home: your teen refuses to participate in family events/chores, or to adhere to family rules (e.g. curfews)
  • After school: your teen stops participating in activities s/he previously enjoyed (e.g. sports): research suggests that especially between 3 and 6 p.m., teens often become involved in situations their parents would not approve

In your teen's behaviour:

  • Do you have concerns about their use/abuse of drugs (e.g. cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs), despite their denials?
  • Are they associating with a peer group you worry will be a negative influence on them?
  • Are they becoming more secretive, deceptive, lying in their responses?
  • Are they becoming more verbally aggressive (e.g. screaming, using obscenities)?
  • Are they becoming more physically aggressive (e.g. pushing and shoving parents or siblings)—suggesting anger which is being displaced onto others?
  • Have you noticed a dramatic change in their personalities, or personal hygiene?

Our mantra at AMCAL is “Parents who change have kids who change.” The Residential Program offers both parents & teens the chance for a new beginning together.

For more information about this program contact:
Jeff Andrews: 514-694-3161ext. 222 or email:  

At AMCAL, we are committed to collaborating with other professionals & community organizations to help our clients:

  • Schools: e.g. LBPSB, EMSB: we aim to include as many adults as we can who are involved in the teen’s life—so all are part of the teen’s road to success.
  • CSSS, Batshaw Family Services: with your permission, we make contact with social workers from other agencies that have worked with your family, to coordinate strategies that best respond to your individual needs.
  • Hospitals: e.g. The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH): teens benefit from referrals to specific clinics (e.g. the Adolescent clinic, the Eating Disorders clinic), as well as continued counselling & support services.
Others programs

Parental Counselling

A short-term program that address parenting goals and explored challenges that may be present and how to best address them as a parental unit. For new parents, co-parents, single parents, couples and guardians.

Emerging Adults Family Counselling

A short-term program using the strength of families to guide them through the transition from adolescence to adulthood. For families with young adults aged 18-30 living in the family home.

Outreach Family Counselling

A short-term program to address issues of family dynamics and identify family strengths and solutions. For youths aged 7-17 and their families.

Supervised Visitation Program

A safe and neutral place…Provides a supportive and supervised setting that allows the strengthening of the parent-child relationship.

School Based Programs

An ounce of prevention... A classroom program which offers tools for schools and students to build social skills, positive character traits and peaceful solutions to problems. For elementary school children.

Community Groups

Helping families work better together... Skill building groups for children and adults dealing with issues such as anger management and divorce. Group availability dependant on demand.