About Us

In 1991, Dawson County was one of 15 counties that volunteered to participate in a two year program created by Gov. Zell Miller responding to the release of the Annie E. Casey Foundation inaugural KIDS COUNT report in 1990 to track the status of children in the United States which placed Georgia 48th out of 50 states in regards to it’s children’s well-being. The pilot was called Georgia Family Connection.

Today, Dawson County Family Connection is one of 159 county collaborations under Georgia Family Connection, all committed to the mission of improving conditions for at-risk children, families, and communities.


Our Board

John Cronan-2021 Chair

Sue Seldomridge- 2021 Vice Chair

Ben Barret- 2021 2nd Vice Chair

Natalie Johnson-2021 Treasurer

Billy Thurmond-DC Board of Commissioners

Buffie Hamil-DC Parks & Rec

Cara Bowen- DC Family & Children Services

Charlene Jones-Char’s Family Daycare, Inc.

Clark MacAllister-UGA Extension Office

Damon Gibbs-DC School System


Dawn Johnson-DC Senior Center

Jeff Johnson-DC Sheriff Department

Jeremy Merritt-Avita Community Partners

Joe Stapp-Blue Ridge Counseling

John Walden-City of Dawsonville

Kathy Russell-DC Health Department

Mandy Power-DC Chamber of Commerce

Nicky Gilleland- Honorary Board Member

Sharon Fox- Ninth District Opportunity

Sherry Karr-Family Representative

Dawson County Family Connection is governed by a Collaborative Board that meets the fourth Wednesday of every other month at the Professional Development Center at 9:00am.

Our Staff

Rebecca Bliss, Coordinator


706-265-1981 Ext 60081

Jill Alexander, Administrative Specialist


706-265-1981 Ext 60080

About Georgia Family Connection

Georgia Family Connection is the only statewide network of its kind in the country with partners in all 159 counties working toward measurably better outcomes for our children, families, and communities. This gives us a unique vantage point—not only to see the big picture—but also to operate effectively at a local level.

We disentangle the mess of barriers, service gaps, and inefficiencies obscuring progress for our most vulnerable families. We do that by connecting our partners to resources, helping coordinate and manage efforts, and empowering our communities to craft local solutions based on local decisions.

Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) represents and promotes Georgia Family Connection’s work, provides expertise in planning and governance, administers the state-appropriated funds for the local Collaboratives, sets standards of excellence, and helps Collaboratives evaluate their progress.

The state’s designated KIDS COUNT grantee, GaFCP also provides state agencies and policymakers with current, reliable data they need to inform decisions about improving conditions for the communities they serve.

Our Work

At Georgia Family Connection, we work to ensure that all children are healthy, primed for school, and succeed when they get there; families are stable, self-sufficient, and productive; and communities are vibrant, robust, and thriving.

None of these result areas stand in isolation. They overlap. By collaborating across sectors to address them, we nurture children and families who thrive in vibrant communities—everywhere. Because we work toward measurably better outcomes for everyone.