700 Markham Street
Toronto, ON M6G 2M3
Executive Director: Heather O'Keefe
Board Chair: Todd Minerson

Charitable Reg. #:85355 0077 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 85 cents are available for programs.

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About StepStones for Youth:

StepStones for Youth is a 4-star charity with a good results reporting grade. It is financially transparent and its overhead costs are within Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending. 

Co-founded in 2004 by Executive Director Heather O’Keefe, StepStones for Youth works to provide urgently required support for vulnerable foster care youth in Toronto. According to the charity, there are just under 12,000 children and youth in the child welfare system in Ontario. When these youth age out of government care, they lack stable support and guardian care. As a result, youth from the foster care system face homelessness, low rates of education, and mental health challenges. StepStones reports that 50% of youth forced to exit the child welfare system at 18 experience homelessness within the first six months of leaving. Additionally, 56% of youth from foster care drop out of high school (compared to 15% for the general population) and only 1% attend post-secondary education. In 2019, the Ontario Provincial Advocate that tracks the data on foster care children shut down.

StepStones’ Youth Support Services program supports foster care children in housing, education, and mentorship. StepStones provides wrap-around supports intensely focused on helping youth in care. In F2020, StepStones provided 1,370 hours of counselling, 225 emergency care packages, and held 55 virtual workshops for youth.

StepStones follows a ‘housing first’ model. The charity helps youth secure safe and stable housing by locating available units, attending viewings, negotiating with landlords, purchasing furniture, and providing subsidies. In F2020, StepStones provided 90 housing subsidies.

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Results and Impact

Through education supports, StepStones helps combat the low education rate for youth in foster care. At intake, 23% of youth at StepStones had graduated high school, compared to 52% after one year in the program. After one year in the program, 27% of youth were attending post-secondary education, compared to 1% when joining the program. At intake, 0% of youth were receiving scholarships, compared to 22% after 12 months in the program.

StepStones helped stabilize mental health for 33% of youth in its program. After one year in the StepStones program, 94% of youth identified having stable mental health, compared to 61% when joining the program. 

At intake, 32% of youth had previous involvement with the criminal justice system. Within the first six months, 0% of youth had engaged in criminal activity.

When joining the StepStones program, 31% of youth had the necessary government-issued ID. After six months in the program, 85% of the youth had the necessary government-issued ID.

While Charity Intelligence highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of StepStones for Youth's results. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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StepStones for youth is a small charity with $920k in donations and special events revenues in F2020. Administrative costs are 8% of total revenues and fundraising costs are 6% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 15%. For every dollar donated, 85 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

StepStones has $1.1m in funding reserves, which could cover annual program costs for over one year and six months.  

In F2019 and F2018, Charity Intelligence consolidated Pelletier Youth in Transition’s funding reserves with StepStones for Youth’s funding reserves. However, the charity’s F2020 audited financial statements state that StepStones no longer has significant influence over Pelletier. As such, Ci did not consolidate Pelletier’s funding reserves with Stepstones’ funding reserves in F2020. StepStones did not receive any funding from Pelletier in F2020.

This charity report is funded by the Bickle Wilder Foundation for other donors interested in supporting Toronto-area charities with programs for at-risk youth.

Updated on August 10, 2021 by Sydney Olexa.


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 8.2%8.9%7.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 6.4%3.8%3.4%
Total overhead spending 14.6%12.7%11.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 152.6%436.9%493.5%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 919,301863,035629,147
Government funding 283,091101,20064,950
Special events 25663,95871,001
Other income 4,84110,2448,682
Total revenues 1,207,4891,038,437773,780
Program costs 734,361620,661502,827
Administrative costs 99,38292,71358,564
Fundraising costs 58,49835,37823,763
Total spending 892,241748,752585,154
Cash flow from operations 315,248289,685188,626
Funding reserves 1,120,9512,711,6022,481,554

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 7

Avg. compensation: $68,779

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2020

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

Website: www.stepstonesforyouth.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: (416) 893-5196


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001