About Us


The Cornerstone Partnership is a social enterprise founded in 2014 by Clare Brasier and Helen Costa, who, driven by their personal experience as adopters and their desire to help children, realised that by combining their professional skills and personal experience there was scope for innovation and partnership to improve the life chances of children in the care system.

Cornerstone was originally established with support from the DfE’s Innovation Programme to create and demonstrate a new model of service delivery in adoption, and from there expanded into foster carer recruitment and retention.  The original Cornerstone support model was piloted in adoption for 18 months across 11 Local Authorities.  It sought to demonstrate a more effective and impactful approach to adopter recruitment, assessment and support and the results from the pilot were excellent. Placements were accelerated, placement breakdowns were prevented and adopters felt well prepared and confident as well as social worker capacity being freed up.

Cornerstone now work with 14 Local Authorities in London and the South East across both Adoption support and Foster care recruitment, retention and support. Our approach is predicated on bringing the end user perspective into the heart of the service, co-delivering services alongside social workers and injecting a complementary set of skills into organisations.

Based in Maidenhead, we have a team of very talented and dedicated individuals who are committed to improving the lives of children.

Cornerstone is chaired by Anthony Douglass of CAFCASS and our management team is supported by our Executive Advisory Group which includes leading experts in the field including The Maudsley, Julie Selwyn and CoramBAAF.

Have questions about a specific Cornerstone programme? Thinking about fostering or adoption? Whatever your enquiry, we’ll help direct you to the right place.
Email us at enquiries@thecornerstonepartnership.com
Call us on: 01628 636376
Or use our
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Helen Costa

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer

10 years+ of sales and marketing experience in private sector with Significant board level experience in public sector including as a non-exec director of a large acute NHS Trust.

With a track record of running large teams and major projects in central and regional government (Deputy Director at BIS; Director at the London Development Agency and Greater London Authority) including high profile national projects such as the restructuring of the UK’s nuclear liabilities and securing the London Olympics.

Helen has degrees in biochemistry and psychology; formal training in programme management, government accounting, public sector governance and corporate finance. Adoptive mother of 2 children, with interest in improving lives of looked after children.

Clare Brasier

Co-founder & Director of Training & Development

Clare is a Co-Founder and Director of Training & Development at Cornerstone, with a successful track record within Management Consultancy spanning 20 years, working globally for several leading multi-national private companies and on high profile large-scale UK Government projects. Clare’s experience is in the full project lifecycle, with a targeted focus throughout her career on training development and delivery.

Gulnar Hasnain

Chief of Staff

Gulnar previously served as Head of Environment and Sustainability Strategy for the Mayor of London’s economic development agency where she worked on some of London’s largest regeneration projects. Gulnar also has over 15 years in the private sector in marketing and strategy roles in both B2B and B2C. She received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has an MSc in Development Studies from Birkbeck University, London and an MEng in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, London.

Katie Wilkinson

Commercial Director

Katie has over 17 years’ experience in the private sector with roles in in account and product management, trade marketing and as head of Commercial Development. She has extensive experience of bring bringing new products to market and devising and executing successful launch strategies. She holds an Economics and Politics Degree from the University of Bristol.