The Toby Center helps families transitioning with divorce

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Staff report

Mark Roseman has seen what divorce can do to a family.

As a child custody consultant and divorce coach, Roseman has witnessed parents turning kids on the other parent and how the parent with the best attorney can take control over access to the children.

To help with the reunification of parents and children, so both parents can have involvement in their kid’s lives, Roseman founded The Toby Center.

The center first opened in Boynton Beach in 2010, but is now housed on Linton Blvd. in Delray Beach.

The Toby Center provides multiple services including supervised visitation, mediation and monitored child exchange.

Roseman said supervised visitation is the biggest service the center provides. He said most people don’t even know what it is until a court orders them to do it.

The goal of a supervised visit is to give children and their parents a comfortable space to spend meaningful time together, he said.

When the center first opened, he thought the main service it would provide would be mediation. That quickly changed to supervised visitation.

“Children thrive when both parents are involved in the child’s life,” he said.

The Toby Center receives referrals from agencies working to reunite parents with kids like ChildNet and from private clients who are mandated by the court system to seek mediation or supervised visitation.

They center offers a sliding scale rate based on income levels, according to its website.

Roseman estimates about one-third of people who divorce need services like the ones The Toby Center provides and about 30 percent of those people can’t afford to pay for the services.

The Toby Center helps anywhere from 25-50 families per week. A case can last anywhere from six to nine months and sometimes longer.

The goal is to work toward a plan that involves joint custody.

Blanca Masci works with The Toby Center as a translator. But she was also a client.

Masci had a court order for reunification therapy with her son. A judge ruled that her ex-husband had to make her son available to her for 90 minutes each week. Those meetings with her son took place at The Toby Center under supervision from a Toby Center therapist.

“The Toby Centers have given my family hope,” she said. “It has given my son and I the access to each other that we truly needed, in the comfort of a homelike atmosphere where my son and I were able to enjoy catching up on years worth of lost time in only a matter of 8 weeks.”

Roseman said his goal is to expand The Toby Center nationally. Currently, The Toby Center exists in 14 counties in Florida.