The High Level Information
Strides Toronto is a multi-service charitable organization that provides services to young people (from birth to age 29) and their families. With deep roots in Scarborough and East York, the organization has grown to provide some services to Toronto and beyond. Strides Toronto formed in January 2020 when East Metro Youth Services and Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre amalgamated. By bringing together the two organizations, Strides Toronto is able to provide a range of support services as a person moves from childhood to youth to young adulthood. Strides Toronto is also the Lead Agency for infant, child and youth mental health in Toronto. As the Lead Agency, we work with 25 mental health agencies to design and implement improvements to transform the overall mental health system. This includes work to improve access to services, how young people experience mental health care in Toronto, and the outcomes for the city’s diverse communities.
Strides Toronto offers community programs and services, residential care, and treatment services to improve the mental, social and physical health of infants, children, youth and their families. We provide mental health counselling, autism services, education, outreach and referral, early intervention, day treatment and community support, among our many individual, group and family interventions.
Our board is made up of 14 smart, committed and skilled people who care about Toronto and want to support Strides in achieving its vision of thriving children, youth, families and communities. They come from diverse backgrounds and have a range of experiences, which makes our conversations thoughtful, interesting and insightful. The board meets eight times a year (usually in person, but virtually during the pandemic) to discuss and make strategic decisions about the organization, provide direction to staff leaders, and ensure that Strides Toronto’s programs and services and its role as Lead Agency are conducted with accountability to its funders, clients, the community and in a way that ensures its long-term viability.
The Position Details
- The term for a director position is three years and directors can run for a total of three terms (nine years).
- There are eight meetings a year and meetings are approximately 2.5 hours long.
- The board of directors also has several committees (e.g., Finance and Audit; Governance; Quality) and each director is expected to participate on at least one of the committees in addition to regular board meetings.
Strides Toronto is recruiting four or five new volunteer board members to start in September 2021. The ideal candidate will be dedicated, curious, able to work collaboratively and want to make Toronto a better place to live especially for our most vulnerable community members. We are also hoping to strengthen some of the following skills and competencies on our board:
- Knowledge of and experience working within a health equity and social determinants of health framework
- Knowledge of anti-Black racism, anti-oppression and anti-racism
- Quality and evaluation ideally in a healthcare setting
- Experience with child and youth services (e.g., consumer, service provider)
- Government relations
- Public policy development
- Health sector experience
- Resource development/fundraising
- Social enterprise
We want our board to reflect the communities that we serve, so we encourage applications from:
- individuals who identify as Black or racialized community members
- individuals who identify as Indigenous, First Nation, Metis or Inuk
- individuals who identify as LGBTQ
- individuals aged 25 to 34
Note that preference will be given to candidates that reside in Toronto as this is the geographic area the organization serves.
This is a volunteer board of directors. We offer you the opportunity to work with and get to know a terrific and diverse team of professionals in an environment where everyone’s perspective is valued, and board members feel comfortable being their whole selves and sharing ideas freely. Participation on Strides Toronto’s board also offers you opportunities to learn and develop professionally while helping to strengthen communities in Toronto. The work we do is important, and its impact on children, youth, families and communities is transformative. As a board member, you will help make positive changes possible.
Have More Questions? Find Answers Here.
Board members are required to be a member of the organization and there is a $10 annual membership fee. As a United Way Anchor Agency, Strides Toronto runs an annual United Way giving campaign. Our goal is for 100% of Board members to participate in this, giving as they are able.
Strides welcomes a mix of individuals with previous board experience as well as people who are interested in gaining board experience and have other strengths and lived experiences to contribute.
Board meetings usually take place at the Lead Agency offices at 365 Bloor Street East. Occasionally, meetings are held in one of Strides other offices located in Scarborough so that board members see where services are delivered. The board has been meeting on Zoom throughout the pandemic.
Strides reimburses board members for parking expenses. When meetings are in person, a light meal is provided.
The meetings start at 5:30 PM or 6 PM and are approximately 2.5 hours long.
The time commitment is approximately 8 to 10 hours a month including preparation for meetings and attendance at board and committee meetings.
We ask board members if they are comfortable having their photo and a brief biography posted on the website.
To apply to join the Strides Toronto board of directors, please email us your resume and a letter by May 31, 2021, telling us why you are interested in joining the board and how you think your perspective, skills and/or experience can contribute to our discussions and objectives. Please send your resume and letter to Lisa Marinis, Executive Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org.