Changing the Narrative:

Building Solutions for Black Families

The Cornerstone Partnership is a joint initiative between the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CAS of Toronto) and Yonge Street Mission (YSM), which is funded by Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada as well as The Keenan Foundation and other private YSM donors.

With a focus on strengthening, stabilizing and restoring the family unit, CAS of Toronto will connect Black families directly with YSM. YSM Cornerstone provides family-centric wrap-around support addressing foundational needs including solutions and resources regarding parenting in Canada, housing, mental health, education, employment, child care, food access and nutrition.

Uniting for Change in our Community

Beginning in the fall of 2019, this innovative partnership was established to address the disproportionate number of Black families, children and youth involved with CAS of Toronto by providing proactive intervention and culturally-reflective services designed to:

  • Reduce the risk of unnecessary child welfare investigation by CAS of Toronto
  • Reunify children and youth with their families as quickly as possible, when safe
  • Reduce the chances of future referrals CAS of Toronto

The Cornerstone Partnership is shifting CAS of Toronto’s child welfare model from reactive protection to proactive prevention in order to minimize family disruption and distress, while mitigating potential poor outcomes experienced by children in the child welfare system including challenges with housing, employment, education, mental health and criminal activity.

See City TV’s coverage of the Cornerstone Partnership here.

YSM and CAS improving service outcomes for black families, read the story in the Toronto Caribbean Newspaper.

Partnership tackles systemic racism in Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, read the article here.

Get Involved


We invite your family to mentor a family in crisis with the purpose of modelling healthy family dynamics, reducing social isolation, and fostering a space that promotes joy.


Your gift in support of Cornerstone will help strengthen, stabilize and restore families in our community.

Webinar details

Farrell Hall
Mahesh Prajapat
Marcia Shelton
Donna Alexander
Greg Nunes

Farrell Hall

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
CAS of Toronto

Mahesh Prajapat

Chief Operating Officer

CAS of Toronto

Marcia Shelton

Director of Family Services

Yonge Street Mission

Donna Alexander, MSW RSW

Social Worker

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Greg Nunes

Client of Cornerstone Partnership

Webinar: Changing the Narrative: Building Solutions for Black Families

On July 9, 2020 join CAS of Toronto and YSM hosted a joint webinar exploring:

  • Systemic racism that continues to persist and oppress marginalized populations
  • Impact of anti-Black racism on the child welfare system
  • How CAS of Toronto and YSM are partnering to address the disproportionate number of Black youth involved with child welfare
  • Ways the public can get involved and take action

We heard from seasoned leaders as they examine our city’s history of systemic racism, its impact on the children, youth and families in our community and how we can drive change together.


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