The north star is the only one that doesn’t change position as the earth rotates. It’s constant.

Truth is our north star that’s guided us through Georgia’s evolving landscape for more than three decades. Here’s the heavy truth of our situation: low birthweight babies, mental illness, suicide, maternal mortality, and youth homelessness are pervasive. Though we can’t always see what’s ahead, we allow truth to point the way.

The Georgia Family Connection 2022 Conference on Jekyll Island dared us to find solutions together. The data we’ve collected—combined with 30 years of collaborating to improve outcomes for Georgia’s children and families—demonstrates the art and science of truth at work. This truth allows us to understand and learn from the past while meeting future challenges with a boldness justified by our collective knowledge, purpose, and trust in one another.

This conference is designed for collaborators determined to finding solutions to the complex issues that challenge children and families in our communities. This diverse group represents urban and rural areas of Georgia and other states, as well as multiple sectors of community life, including social services, education, government, health care, and business.

Wednesday, Oct. 26

2 p.m.                              Registration Opens

5 – 7 p.m.                      Opening Reception

Thursday, Oct. 27

6:15 a.m.                        Morning Yoga

7 a.m.                              Registration Opens

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.          Breakfast & Double Dare

8:45 – 10:15 a.m.        Workshop Session 1

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.      Break

10:30 – Noon               Workshop Session 2

12 – 1:45 p.m.              Plenary Luncheon

1:45 – 2 p.m.               Break

2 – 3:30 p.m.              Workshop Session 3

4 – 6 p.m.                     Networking Reception

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.       Dine-Around Conversations

Friday, Oct. 28

7:30 – 8:15 a.m.         Coffee and Light Fare

8:30 – 10 a.m.            Workshop Session 4

10 – 11:45 a.m.           Brunch & Closing Plenary Session

Hit the Road—And Press Play

Help us build a Spotify playlist featuring your all-time favorite road trip songs that will pump up our colleagues and partners on the journey to Jekyll Island.

Add your song by submitting the song title and artist via email (Subject Line: Playlist) to Kelsey Jones at or on social media using the #LetsTalkGA hashtag. This submission will score you 10 points in our scavenger hunt.

Share 2 – 3 sentences and a photo that depicts the distinctive ways your Collaborative and partners are daring to find solutions to the complex issues that challenge children and families in your communities.

Send your submission via email (Subject Line: My Daring Collaborative) to Kelsey Jones at or share it on social media using the #LetsTalkGA hashtag. This submission will score you 30 points in our scavenger hunt.

Dine-Around Conversations

Join your colleagues for casual dialogue on relevant topics over dinner on Thursday, Oct. 27. Participate in compelling conversations about complex issues that challenge children and families in our communities.

Reservations for groups of 10 have been made at restaurants around Jekyll Island at 6:30 p.m., and participants are responsible for paying for their own meals. You must pre-register to secure a spot. (The links will be available soon.) Registration will close once tables are full, and participants will receive an email confirmation.

Health Equity
Facilitators: Rebekah Hudgins, GaFCP Evaluation and Results Accountability Team co-leader; and Marcell Johnson West, GaFCP regional manager
Add your experience and ideas to this solution-focused conversation about how to apply learnings from GaFCP’s health equity webinar series to implement strategies in our communities. We’ll discuss key components of an equity framework and how we can use equity-focused data to initiate bold conversations around difficult topics in non-threatening ways. We’ll also share examples of applying an equity lens to advocate for systems change.

Affordable Housing and Homelessness
Facilitators: Carlisa Beal, GaFCP executive assistant; and Toni Brown, GaFCP regional manager
Homeless—or “houseless people”—fall into three categories: the absolute homeless, the concealed homeless, and those at risk of becoming homeless. Has homelessness and a lack of housing reached crisis level in your community? Learn what others are experiencing across the state and how together we can address this critical issue to ensuring that all children, families, and communities thrive.

Human Trafficking
Facilitator: Lisa Brewer, GaFCP regional manager
Human trafficking is a crime that involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts. This coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or psychological. Join this conversation to find out what human trafficking looks like in Georgia, discuss efforts to identify and eradicate human trafficking, and learn about resources available to support initiatives.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Facilitators: Virginia Dick, NextStep Evaluation president; and Gabrielle Stewart, GaFCP regional manager
What are the community characteristics that impact mental health, wellness, and substance use and abuse throughout Georgia? That’s what we’ll dive into during this conversation, along with ideas for Collaborative strategies and activities that can address challenges surrounding these issues. We’ll also share resources designed to improve related child and family outcomes.

Parent and Family Engagement
Facilitator: Stephanie Flowers, GaFCP education support specialist
We know that when parents are involved in their children’s education, student performance increases. In this conversation, we’ll discuss parent and family engagement strategies being applied in counties across the state—covering how to engage parents in their children’s academic performance and in the development and implementation of local school policy.

Morning Yoga

We invite you to jumpstart your day by focusing on your mind and body with morning yoga. Join yoga teacher and Toombs County Family Connection director Paige Williamson for a gentle 30-minute yoga session. No experience is required. Meet in the Westin lobby at 6:15 a.m. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and bring your yoga mat! You may also bring yoga blocks if desired.

Please pre-register for this session. The link will be available soon.

Paige Williamson, Toombs County Family Connection director in Lyons, is also a part-time yoga teacher. She received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Savannah Yoga Center in 2016. Williamson continued her yoga education at Asheville Yoga Center and graduated with her 500-hour teacher certification in 2018. Shortly after, she became the owner of the county’s only yoga studio, the Zen Den. She strives to ignite a passion in her students for movement and to facilitate their ability to use that movement as a tool of self-discovery. She encourages students to learn to trust the inner wisdom of their bodies while she provides a framework for that discovery.






Amerigroup Community Care of Georgia helps improve health care access and quality for more than 600,000 low-income Georgians by developing innovative care management programs and services. Members are assured care that is not only accessible but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated, and patient-centered. Amerigroup Georgia provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encourage members to become active participants in their health care. Through health education programs, members are empowered to choose and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Amerigroup Community Care is Georgia Families 360°SM’s single care management organization in charge of coordinating care for children in Foster Care, children receiving Adoption Assistance and select youth in the Juvenile Justice system.

CareSource is a nonprofit, nationally recognized managed care organization with over 2 million members. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, since its founding in 1989, CareSource administers one of the largest Medicaid managed care plans in the U.S. The organization offers health insurance, including Medicaid, Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicare Advantage and dual-eligible programs. Through its network of health plans, CareSource serves members in Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. The company is leading the way in serving populations with complex needs and extended its presence into 12 additional states with the acquisition of The Columbus Organization, a trusted partner to health care agencies and provider organizations in improving coordination and support for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges through its staffing, quality improvement, and care coordination services. As a mission-driven organization, CareSource is transforming health care with innovative programs that address the social determinants of health, health equity, prevention, and access to care.

United Healthcare Community & State partners with state and local community organizations to offer innovative managed care health plans for the economically disadvantaged, the medically underserved, and those without the benefit of employer-funded health care coverage. We proudly serve 7.9 million Medicaid members in 32 states, plus Washington D.C., and are committed to making state-sponsored health care effective, affordable and compassionate. United Healthcare is a division of United Health Group (NYSE: UNH) which is a diversified health and well-being company with a mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health system work better for everyone.