Cornerstones of Care
300 East 36th Street
Kansas City MO 64111
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 508-1700
Mission Statement
The mission of Cornerstones of Care is to provide, through our collective strength, an array of quality prevention, treatment, and support services for children and their families. The vision of Cornerstones of Care is to help the children and families we serve to achieve health, happiness, confidence, competence, and self-sufficiency. We believe stronger children and families lead to a stronger community.
CEO/Executive Director Ms Denise Cross
Board Chair Mr. Terry Putney
Board Chair Company Affiliation Transition Advisors, LLC
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1998
Former Names
Gillis Center
Marillac Center
Healthy Families
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement The mission of Cornerstones of Care is to provide, through our collective strength, an array of quality prevention, treatment, and support services for children and their families. The vision of Cornerstones of Care is to help the children and families we serve to achieve health, happiness, confidence, competence, and self-sufficiency. We believe stronger children and families lead to a stronger community.
Background Statement

Cornerstones of Care was incorporated in 1998 as a family of agencies (Gillis, Healthy Families, Marillac, Ozanam, and Spofford) to serve children and families. Each of these agencies had been serving local children and families dating back to the 1800s. Having similar and complementary missions, the agencies realized that greater collaboration would better leverage the agency strengths and programs, while sharing resources and ideas to create stronger services for children and families. The primary objectives were:

  1. Establish a system that provides quality services to children and families.
  2. Create a stronger infrastructure; cost containment and greater efficiencies.
  3. More competitive and better prepared to respond to State privatization efforts.
  4. Develop new business opportunities.
Since inception, Cornerstones of Care and each of our individual agencies has continually transformed to benefit our staff and those we serve. We have helped thousands of children in foster care achieve permanency, and been a leader in community-based solutions. We have recruited/licensed thousands of foster and adoptive homes. We brought the first Treatment Foster Care program to the Kansas City region, and have been a local and early adopter of Functional Family Therapy.
In late 2015, the vision to continue evolving to do more for those we serve, to serve more, and to do so from a continued strong financial position, lead our leaders and 100+ board members to embark on an 18-month due diligence process. The end result was a decision to legally merge into one organization. On January 1, 2017, the Cornerstones of Care family of agencies officially merged to become one higher-impact organization, retaining the Cornerstones of Care name.

Cornerstones of Care continues to provide the full spectrum of 34+ programs and services we offered as family of agencies, including Foster Care and Adoption, Education, Mental and Behavioral Health, Youth Support and Family Support Services. We provide these on our campuses (Spofford, Gillis, Marillac and Ozanam), in offices in Overland Park, Wichita, Maryville, and North KC, in school districts throughout the region, and in the homes of families throughout KC, Eastern Kansas and NW Missouri. United, we are a partner for safety and health for over 12,000 children and families, ultimately working to keep children safe, families strong and communities healthy. 

Impact Statement

2016 was a year of positive growth and change for the Cornerstones of Care Family of Agencies. Lead by our 100+ volunteer board members, our family of agencies (Gillis, Healthy Families, Marillac, Ozanam and Spofford) united for the next step in our journey together, becoming one higher-impact organization. Our legal merger into one organization was effective January 1, 2017. 

Our merger was a significant accomplishment for 2016, but through it all, we remained focused on providing the highest quality care to the thousands of children and families in our care. Specific achievements included: 

  • Nearly 2,000 families were licensed through our Resource Development program to recruit, license and support foster and adoptive families.
  • Over 300 youth from ages 4-18 were served in our Day Treatment Programs, ensuring they achieve success in the classroom.
  • Reduced lengths of stay for children in our residential treatment programs while also ensuring they have the intensive supports they need in a community-based placement.
  • Successfully opened a larger outpatient office in downtown Overland Park, KS to provide additional outpatient therapy options to children, adults and families throughout the KC metro area.
  • Over the last 3 years, we have helped 538 children in foster care achieve permanency through reunification, guardianship or adoptions.

Goals for 2017 include:

  • Continuing to realize benefits of being a single organization which focus on improving the quality and consistency of care for children and families we serve.
  • Build a Community Connections Department, which will ensure a single point of access and customer service to all 30+ programs at Cornerstones of Care.
  • Expand functional family therapy to more families and youth in need in rural Kansas.
  • Meet fundraising goals to ensure program sustainability and growth.
  • Build upon successful community support for the legacy agencies and brand awareness and equity for Cornerstones of Care.  
Needs Statement

Cornerstones of Care has identified the following 5 priorities for 2017.

  1. Securing funding support for community-based programs that strengthen families, including our outpatient therapy, relationship education and home visitation programs.
  2. Recruitment of foster families. Specifically families in rural areas, those who can support children with elevated health needs or sibling groups, and families that can become treatment foster families. The need for loving homes who can support home-based treatment teams is growing as both the numbers of children coming into care grows, as does the evidence that children heal best when in a home, in the community.
  3. Capital Improvements for our campuses, including internal systems and cosmetic upgrades for residential, day treatment and therapy spaces.
  4. Secure funding for Healthy Living and Food Systems Programs and our Ancillary Therapies (garden programs, expressive therapy programs, horticulture therapy and music therapy). We know these programs are vital to building resiliency in our young people and ensuring they receive a personalized treatment plan.
  5. Boost volunteer support specifically for mentor, life coach and child care services to help with residential, community-based and relationship education programs.  
Service Categories
Foster Care
Alliances & Advocacy
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Cass County
MO - Buchanan
MO - Caldwell
MO - Clinton
MO - Lafayette
MO - Ray
KS - Atchison County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

Our work can be summed up in two phrases, “partnering to transform” and “demonstrating leadership and positive impact.” These phrases summarize our strategic objectives established to reaffirm our commitment to reducing trauma and strengthening children, families and the communities in which they live.


Our first objective is to partner to transform our communities by reducing the frequency and impact of adverse childhood experiences. In 2014, when we began offering foster care recruitment and licensing services in 30 counties in Northwest Missouri, we committed ourselves to helping more than 1,300 children and youth find safe homes where they can thrive and grow. We are excited to continue to partner with organizations, businesses and – most importantly – caring and loving families in those communities.


Our second objective is to demonstrate leadership and positive impact on the health and well-being of our communities. We do this in obvious ways such as by becoming the first organization in Kansas City to achieve Sanctuary certification (a trauma-informed model of care). By enabling our staff and leadership to engage in local, regional and national conversations, we seek not only to replicate best practices, but are on the forefront of innovation. Most importantly, our focus on developing leaders and advocates will help us create and sustain long-term impact. One of the highlights of my year occurred when I accompanied one of our older foster youth to Columbia, Missouri to stand by the governor as he signed the legislation that would positively impact the health and well-being of youth in foster care by allowing them to re-enter care up to the age of 21.


As a leading human social service organization, we continue to find innovative ways to expand our capacity to serve youth and families through more efficient and effective operations. At the same time, we know that continual investment in a robust infrastructure is important and vital to our ability to achieve our mission and goals in the future.

Denise Cross, President and Chief Executive Officer

Awarded by the State of Missouri in June 2005, foster care case management is designed to protect children from abuse and neglect, as well as to increase the number of foster parents, adoptive parents and foster care resources in Jackson, Cass, and Johnson counties in Missouri. Foster care and adoption services are provided to approximately 250 kids each year.

A grant from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption allows for two full-time adoption recruiters to work towards permanency for children and sibling groups currently in foster care.

Cornerstones of Care was awarded a Nurse Case Management contract from the State of Missouri to manage the physical and mental health care needs of Jackson County children in state custody. The contract provides nurse and medical consultation for over 1,000 children in care at any given time. 

Cornerstones of Care also recruits and licenses hundreds of foster homes each year in the 30-county NW Missouri region.  
Program Budget $9,476,977.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Adults,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Short-term success is measured by the extent to which programs meet contractual outcome goals. Monitoring these goals ensures the safety of children in foster placements and the efficacy of permanent placement. Examples of outcomes include:

  • 92% will not re-enter care within 12 months of permanency.
  • 99% of foster placements will not have substantiated child abuse/neglect reports with the alternative caregiver listed as the perpetrator.
  • 28% of children will find permanent placements.
Long-Term Success

This program operates under a performance-based contract which requires close monitoring of outcomes. The long term outcome is to achieve permanent living situations for 28% of our children, which includes reunification, adoption, or guardianship.

Program Success Monitored By Progress is monitored by statistical reporting and review of the above outcomes and other internal measurements monthly by senior management and state contract oversight. 
Examples of Program Success

All program goals were met or exceeded in the prior contract year: 93% of children did not re-enter care, 43% of children were placed in permanent living situations, 100% of placements were safe for children, and 180 children were placed in permanent homes.


Education services include 3 day treatment programs and our school-based support services known as BIST (Behavior Intervention Support Team).

Our day treatment programs, established nearly 40 years ago, help meet the needs of children in our own residential treatment facilities, and those from our public school partners. Children from over 20 school districts come to our schools to receive personalized academic services that supports the unique behavioral or mental health challenges our students have.  

BIST is an outreach program that provides training and support to teachers, administrators, and staff in hundreds of schools throughout the Midwest. BIST helps schools decrease disruptive behavior, increase teaching time, provide relief for parents, and facilitate life-long changes in children. Our goal is to increase teaching time and help students make life changes. 
Program Budget $5,569,209.00
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), Infants to Preschool (under age 5), Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

By the end of a child's time in the day treatment programs, Cornerstones of Care expects that they will have shown improvement in math and reading skills, meet the goals of their IEP (Individualized Education Plan), have attendance of 90% or better, and meet the goals of their behavioral treatment plan.

Long-Term Success
Children experience success in the classroom and either successfully return to their home school at the same grade, or they graduate with a HS diploma from our day treatment schools.
Program Success Monitored By

Cornerstones of Care monitors performance by students in the day treatment school through grades, attendance tracking, and performance monitoring surveys with staff, students and parents.

Examples of Program Success Our day treatment schools have shown very positive outcomes. For the day treatment school programs, 92.48% of clients report improvement in math skills, 90.02% of clients report improvement in reading skills, and 89.61% of clients report progress or fully meeting their treatment goals upon leaving the program. These outcomes are also a source of pride for our organization, particularly given our focus on behavioral improvements, that academic success can also be achieved for the children we serve.

The Cornerstones of Care Mental and Behavioral Health Services focus on providing children, young adults and families the comprehensive treatment and support they need to heal and thrive. These services include:

  • Residential Treatment on 4 of our Campuses. We offer trauma-informed campus living and therapeutic programming for children and young adults ages 4 to 18. Often those in our residential programs have experienced abuse, neglect and mental health disorders in their lives and face challenges that require temporary out-of-home care.
  • Outpatient Counseling. We can help our clients address a wide variety of mental health issues and concerns. Outpatient counseling allows individuals to maintain a regular commitment to family, work and educational responsibilities throughout their treatment.
  • Substance Abuse Treatment. We provide substance abuse treatment services to youth, often in residential treatment, who struggle with abuse of medication, alcohol and drugs.
Program Budget $12,042,604.00
Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Short-term success is to have a significant improvement in mental or behavioral health for children in residential treatment.

Long-Term Success

Long-term success means that children in residential care will successfully transition to a home with a family in the community, either through foster care, adoption or family reunification. Other long-term success is that clients in outpatient services will experience improvement in their family interactions, home life and mental health stability.

Program Success Monitored By

Program success is monitored by the Ohio Scales tool that measures a variety of factors for youth experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis.

Examples of Program Success

On the Gillis Campus, lengths of stay for youth in residential care have decreased by 40% down to approximately 4-5 months on average, which is a significant source of pride in that we are able to find a supportive home in the community for youth who would otherwise be living in a residential facility for over 2 years.

In addition, regarding outpatient services, 96% of clients report that the services they receive have helped them.  
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms Denise Cross
Term Start Jan 2008
Experience Denise Cross has over 20 years of experience in state government with increasing levels of responsibility leading to her appointment as the Director of the Missouri Division of Family Services. After leaving the public sector, Ms. Cross spent two years with a private consulting firm providing support and guidance to state child welfare and Medicaid agencies. Ms. Cross is a graduate of Harvard's Executive Program for State and Local governments. She is currently serving on Missouri's Medicaid Managed Care Task Force. Ms. Cross was named to KC Magazine's "Most Influential Women" in 2014. Denise was appointed President/CEO of Cornerstones of Care effective January 1, 2008.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Mr. Paul Gemeinhardt Oct 1998 - Jan 2008
Senior Staff
Title Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Ryan joined Cornerstones of Care’s senior leadership team as vice president in 2006 and later took on the role of chief operating officer in 2011. Responsible for the strategic development of programs and quality assurance initiatives, Ryan also represents the organization on many state-level and national initiatives.

Ryan began his career with Youth Services International, Inc., working in the areas of quality assurance and admissions before joining the Missouri Division of Family Services to work in the areas of child abuse/neglect investigations, foster care and adoptions. Prior to his current position with Cornerstones of Care, Ryan served the organization in several capacities, including vice president.  

Title Chief Program Officer

Stephen joined Cornerstones of Care as president of the Gillis Campus in 2014. Responsible for the daily operations on campus, Stephen also provides strategic executive-level oversight for our consolidated residential, outpatient, education, foster care & adoption programs.

Prior to Cornerstones of Care, Stephen held positions at Wyandot Center and Save, Inc. Stephen is also an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, teaching undergraduate sociology and graduate-level social work.

Title Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer

Eric joined the Cornerstones of Care senior leadership team in January 2011 as Chief Business Officer, after serving eight years at one of the Cornerstones of Care member agencies in a variety of roles.  As Chief Business Officer, Eric oversees Finance & Accounting, Facility Management, and Information Technology.  Eric works closely with staff leaders and boards of directors across the Cornerstones of Care family of agencies to develop and implement strategic initiatives.   Eric received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, and an Executive MBA from Rockhurst University. 

Title Chief Development Officer
Experience/Biography Sara joined Cornerstones of Care in 2014, starting as director of development for our Marillac and Gillis Campuses. She now provides strategic executive-level oversight for development and marketing. Responsible for the strategic development of all fundraising and marketing activities, Sara works to engage our communities directly in our mission and steward a strong brand.  

Prior to Cornerstones of Care, Sara spent many years in development at SAVE, Inc., a KC-based housing organization, before joining the Gillis and Marillac development teams.

Title Chief Culture Officer
Experience/Biography Rob joined Cornerstones of Care’s senior leadership team as president of the Ozanam Campus in 2013 and later became president of the Spofford Campus in 2015. Responsible for the daily operations on both campuses, Rob also provides strategic executive-level oversight for our consolidated facilities and performance excellence teams, including organizational accreditations.  

Prior to Cornerstones of Care, Rob began his career with the Missouri 27th Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court before most recently serving in several capacities at Ozanam, including vice president of clinical operations.  

Title Chief Healthcare Integration Officer
Experience/Biography Lynn joined Cornerstones of Care as president of the Marillac Campus in 2014. Responsible for the daily operations on campus, Lynn also provides strategic executive-level oversight for our consolidated healthcare integration team including nutritional services, campus-based nursing, community-based nursing and nurse case management services.

Prior to Cornerstones of Care, Lynn began his career with the Shawnee Mission Medical Center before most recently serving as the director of behavioural health for Saint Luke’s Northland Hospital for 16 years.

Paid Full-Time Staff 612
Paid Part-Time Staff 155
Volunteers 2050
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 64%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Cornerstones of Care holds contracts or collaborates with a wide array of agencies to deliver services to children and families.  Among our collaborating partners are: the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Tri-County Community Mental Health Services, Clay County Public Health Center, Jackson County Missouri COMBAT, Circuit Courts of Jackson County, Missouri; University of Kansas Hospital, Alliance for Children and Families, and a range of school districts. Collaborating school districts include: Blue Springs, Center, Kansas City, Hickman Mills, Independence, Raytown, Belton, Grandview, and more plus Blue Valley in Kansas and at least seven charter schools.
Cornerstones of Care also collaborates with the Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association and the Missouri Baptist Children and Family Ministries (MBCH) to provide a range of services for foster children and foster/adoptive parents.
Cornerstones is a active participant in the Promise 1000 (formerly KC Regional Home Visitation Collaborative) collaboration that coordinates a range of home visitation services for families in the KC metro area.   
As a member of the KC Child Abuse Roundtable Coalition, Cornerstones of Care collaborates with local agencies that are focused on reducing child abuse and neglect in our community.  Similarly, as a member of Trauma Matters KC, we collaborate with over 30 businesses, philanthropies, institutions and agencies to reduce the impact of adverse child experiences and trauma in the greater Kansas City area.
Alliance for Children and Families - Member1998
External Assessment and Accreditations
Council on Accreditation (COA) [for Children and Family Services] - Accreditation2014
Child Placing Agency2014
Healthy Families America2015
Sanctuary trauma-informed care CertificationThe Sanctuary Institute2015
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Terry Putney
Company Affiliation Transition Advisors, LLC
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2017
Board Members
Mr. Jon Appleby Citizens Bank & Trust
Ms. Julie Barnett KCP&L
Mr. John Burgess Walsworth Publishing Company
Mr. Patrick Gahagan Hallmark Cards
Mr. Jim Hogan Burns & McDonnell
Mr. David Leavitt Victor L. Phillips Co
Ms. Jennifer Levinson Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
Mr. Brian Merckens DMH Advertising
Ms. Laurie Monsees Hallmark Cards
Mr. Terry Putney Transition Advisors LLC
Mr. Tom Ross Bukaty Companies
Ms. Shelley White Swiss Re
Ms. Cortney Winn Grant Thornton, LLP
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 82%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Audit, Compliance and Controls
Program / Program Planning
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
CEO Comments The Cornerstones of Care's Board of Directors is a 15-member board, with 2 current vacancies. All members recently served on the legacy agency boards and are currently serving staggered terms to ensure smooth transition beyond the first year of governing the newly-merged organization. Officers of the organization consist of a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The President/CEO is responsible to the Board of Directors. The Board meets 5 times a year, with Committees/Councils meeting more frequently to oversee and provide strategic direction to those council areas. 
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $49,805,541
Projected Expenses $49,791,187
Endowment Value $11,000,000
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage 4
Form 990s
2015 COC 990
2014 COC 990
2013 COC 990
2012 COC 990
2011 COC 990
2010 COC 990
2009 COC 990
2008 COC 990
Audit Documents
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • FY 2013: Financial data reported using the organization's audited financial statements. 
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$505,064
Individual Contributions----$0
Investment Income, Net of Losses$221,388$249,269$2,071,107
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events($4,000)$2,000$1,038,011
Revenue In-Kind$49,295$41,140$426,977
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$16,521,053$14,049,186$39,296,350
Administration Expense$5,108,562$3,792,278$6,099,186
Fundraising Expense$216,984$190,134$1,561,295
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.041.0815.77
Program Expense/Total Expenses76%78%1258%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue40%27%70%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$12,298,904$11,230,379$46,242,887
Current Assets$5,655,620$5,813,436$11,816,090
Long-Term Liabilities$1,332,447$1,698,254$1,878,554
Current Liabilities$3,098,314$2,199,722$5,358,029
Total Net Assets$7,868,143$7,332,403$39,006,304
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.832.642.21
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets11%15%4%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount --State of Missouri $5,624,767Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City $208,800
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City $231,817Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption $166,250
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount --Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption $130,879Bank of America NA $150,000
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments The Chief Financial Officer for Cornerstones of Care is responsible for preparing monthly financial reports for the Board of Directors. This report is reviewed at the monthly board meeting. There is a five-person Finance Committee, as well as a four-person Audit Committee. No member of the Audit Committee also serves on the Finance Committee.
Organization Name Cornerstones of Care
Address 300 East 36th Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Primary Phone (816) 508-1700
CEO/Executive Director Ms Denise Cross
Board Chair Mr. Terry Putney
Board Chair Company Affiliation Transition Advisors, LLC
Year of Incorporation 1998
Former Names
Gillis Center
Marillac Center
Healthy Families