Sylvia Thomas Center Puts The “Forever” In Forever Families

The Sylvia Thomas Center For Adoptive and Foster Families, Inc. (The Sylvia Thomas Center) is a nonprofit organization that provides service to adoptive and foster families to help them stay together when problems arise. As President and CEO Denise G. Jamieson said, “We help put the ‘forever’ in ‘forever families.'”
Jamieson further explained, “Many think that adoption is a happy time. But they do not realize that adopted and foster children have been abandoned and often have serious issues. Sometimes, the issues do not arise until the child starts to trust the adoptive parents, and this can occur a long time after the adoption is finalized.”
The Sylvia Thomas Center provides services for people in crisis. This includes mental health counseling, case management and therapy. The Sylvia Thomas Center was established 11 years ago. In that time, it has  seen thousands of people. Jamieson said, “We have only had two adoptions dissolved.” To put this in perspective, Jamieson explained that she had recently gone to Sarasota where they do not have a similar organization. “In just one week, Sarasota had two adoptions dissolved,” Jamieson said.
Jamieson added, “So many people have said to us that if it were not for our organization, they would have had the adoption dissolved. We have a phenomenal success rate.”
Unfortunately for many, the Sylvia Thomas Center is facing serious funding shortages, and it needs the help of the community. “Our funding was cut by 20 percent this year, and next year’s funding is uncertain,” explained Jamieson. “No one is this area does post adoption services free of charge. Last year, we saw 718 people and provided them with comprehensive case management, training and support,” said Jamieson.
The Sylvia Thomas Center receives funding from the Hillsborough Children’s Board and grants from organizations such as The Brandon Foundation.
If you would like to help, you can make a monetary donation. “Why not give one more Christmas gift this year, and put the Sylvia Thomas Center on your list,” said Jamieson. You can also volunteer your time by helping with upcoming fundraising efforts or help with child care during support group.
The Sylvia Thomas Center is located at 716 S. Oakwood Ave. in Brandon. For more information on the Sylvia Thomas Center, please visit www.sylviathomascenter.org or call 651-3150.