CALOs Preteen Program serves adopted children between 9 and 14 years old who are struggling in making and keeping relationships in all aspects of their lives — with their parents, their siblings, their peers. These boys and girls are emotionally unstable and have a history of developmental trauma, from their adoptions and sometimes from abuse or neglect. They are wounded children who are struggling to understand empathy, altruism, and how relationships are formed and actually work.

Their journeys and their families journeys will take time and require true change, change from the inside outor, as CALO says, from the heart first, with behaviors second. Such healing can only occur when relationships feel safe accepting, connected, trustworthy. The truly safe relationship is the ultimate wish for adopted kids and their families. And truly safe relationships cannot be developed in a system of punishments and rewards.

Unlike most other programs helping adopted children, CALO does not use rewards and consequences because they dont work with these kids. Level systems, tokens, points, time-out rooms, lists of earned privileges cannot create the deep, internal feeling of safety that allows these children to begin to see themselves as deserving and worthy participants in the lives their families want to provide for them.

The CALO Preteen Profile would include children like these:

  • A preteen adopted at birth who is struggling to follow most family rules and will not allow guardians to shape his/her behavior.
  • A preteen with a neglect history who is charming but manipulative (a survivor) and only shows his/her true character at home.
  • A preteen with an orphanage or foster care history whose basic coping resources are quite limited.
  • A preteen with little capacity to regulate emotional responses and who suffered from a neglectful and reckless biological mother.

Typical diagnoses of our children include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: ADHD, Mood Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety Disorder, Depressive Disorder, and Attachment Disorders.

CALO specializes in working with adopted children and their families. Simply put, we are deeply dedicated to adoptive families. We dont believe in the need to produce a long list of behaviors or diagnoses we can handle because to be something to everybody, we become nothing to anybody.

How To Contact Calo

To speak to a team member, please fill out the CONFIDENTIAL form below. A team member will contact you within 24 hours.


If your child is a teenager (14 to 18) please visit our program created just for Teens:

Joint Commission Accredited
NATSAP Accredited
Missouri Social Services Approved
AdvancED Accredited