​About Marlene

Marlene Spence has over 17 years of experience supporting children and youth with behaviour disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and developmental disabilities.    Through her work in group homes, day treatment centres, community centres, churches and schools she has been able to apply her extensive knowledge of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), and Positive  Behaviour Support strategies,  to develop support plans for parents and educators.   
For the past 13 years, Marlene has worked for the 2nd largest school board providing educational resources and supports to children with behavioural challenges and special needs while developing tools to support teaching teams and increase student success.  
Her current goal is to extend her success beyond the classroom into homes by applying Applied Behaviour Analysis and Positive Behaviour Support principals and procedures to coach and support parents and families.   Marlene has  a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in psychology, Diploma in rehabilitation services, as well as a Post graduate certificate in Applied Behaviour Analysis.  She is married to her husband Jermaine and they have two children, Breanna and Justin . 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you only work with families with special needs children?

No, at Cornerstone Family Services we acknowledge that each family faces their own challenges and for that reason we work with families that are facing ANY challenge and need support or an external resource. We are here to help! 

 What really is a strong family, is it a cliché? 

No, it is not just an expression that is overly used to sound good.  Research completed by John DeFrain, Ph.D. and  Sylvia M. Asay, Ph.D states that a strong family has the following 6 strengths:

Appreciation and affection, Commitment, Positive communication, Enjoyable time together, Spiritual well-being, Successful management of stress and crisis

At Cornerstone Family Services our programs, services and products will assist in developing and solidifying these six strengths within your family

DeFrain, J., Swanson, D.,Friesen, J. & Brand., Gail (2008). Creating a strong
            family/What  is a strong family. NebGuide, G18895 (September).

 Retrieved from:


What is Applied Behaviour Analsysis (ABA) who does it benefit?

ABA is an method validated by scientific research, to change behaviours, and learn new skills.   ABA has been the  leading intervention for children with Autsim for over 35 years but it is not just for individuals with Autsim. ABA can be used to address any behaviour concerns and today is used in the fields of  gerontology, psychotherapy, organizational business management and much more.

What happens at the free consultation?

Our free initial 20 minute consultation occurs over the phone. During this time we will gather important information  and conduct a preliminary assessment to thoroughly understand your concerns and how Cornerstone Family Services can help you. 

Do you only work with families in the Peel Region?

NO, We are working on expanding our services to provide online coaching and  consulting for clients worldwide.  If you are not currently living in the Peel region and would like to utilize our services please let us know, it helps us to know where our services are needed the most. Stay tuned for when we expand online. 

Why Cornerstone?

Cornerstone, the foundation stone - the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. The cornerstone is important, all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position and integrity of the entire structure. The cornerstone is essential and indispensable.

All programs provided by  Cornerstone Family Services will help to lay a solid foundation for your children, yourself and your family at large. At Cornerstone Family Services we BELIEVE the family is the cornerstone and foundation to a productive, effective society. Once the foundation of a thriving family is set it will create the community it lives in to flourish, this as well resulting in a vibrant future. 

Vision & Mission

Vision: Building strong families that transform communities; communities that will impact the world.

Mission: Empower parents so they will raise responsible and confident children.