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Advancing Family Strengthening & Family-Based Alternative Care | Cornerstone Paves the Way


Having grown up at an orphanage in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, for nearly 16 years amid several adversities, Isaac Arulappan had always been determined to do something for children like him to ensure they got the childhood they deserved. After completing his higher education, Isaac chose to become a teacher. However, driven by his strong resolve to establish an orphanage free from the sufferings that he had experienced and to enable education for children from underprivileged backgrounds, he decided to save money from his teaching profession, mobilized some additional funds and eventually founded Deva Kirubai Social Help Association (DKSHA) in Tiruchirapalli in 1993.

In 2004, Isaac set up a Child Care Institution (CCI) – Cornerstone Children’s Home – under DKSHA. Cornerstone Children’s Home partnered with Miracle Foundation India in 2013; this collaboration helped the CCI improve the standards of care for children living in institutional settings. Over time, as Miracle Foundation India shifted its focus from institutional care to family strengthening and Family-Based Alternative Care (F-BAC), Isaac was inspired to take the same journey. Cornerstone Children’s Home subsequently evolved from its model of traditional residential care to F-BAC in 2019.

With focus of the strategy shifting to familial bonds and community integration, Cornerstone Children’s Home, by 2023, successfully facilitated the transition of all 166 children back into family settings, including reintegration with birth families and kinship care.

Looking ahead, Cornerstone Children’s Home envisions evolving itself into a Centre for Excellence championing family-based care and strengthening community partnerships. It aims to now become a beacon of knowledge and support for other CCIs with a view to ensuring every child has the opportunity to grow and thrive in a loving and supportive environment.