GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Calvin University is offering a 16-week social intervention program to help internationally adopted teens and their parents. 

Research shows teens adopted from other countries struggle with social skills.

Calvin University’s program will help participants engage in a variety of socialization exercises that will teach them conversational skills, handling disagreements and being a good sport.

Emily Helder, the program’s director, decided to move forward with the course after observing the challenges facing internationally adopted teens. 

“They might have experienced early abuse and neglect prior to their adoption. They might have experienced orphanage care in their early years and that may have impacted their ability to develop these social skills,” Helder said.

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund will cover the cost of the program, making it free for participating families. 

For more information on the program and enrollment, call Helder at 616.526.6396 or email