It's a Family Affair

The Williams Family
Three of eight siblings: Roslyn, Dwight, and Tom Williams
Three of eight siblings: Roslyn, Dwight, and Tom Williams
Three of eight siblings: Roslyn, Dwight, and Tom Williams
Three of eight siblings: Roslyn, Dwight, and Tom Williams
Dwight dancing with his friend Carey
Dance party!
Dance party!
Hey, Varsity, are you hiring??
The Williams Family
Three of eight siblings: Roslyn, Dwight, and Tom Williams
Three of eight siblings: Roslyn, Dwight, and Tom Williams
Three of eight siblings: Roslyn, Dwight, and Tom Williams
Three of eight siblings: Roslyn, Dwight, and Tom Williams
Dwight dancing with his friend Carey
Dance party!
Dance party!
Hey, Varsity, are you hiring??

Dwight Williams is surrounded by family. The youngest of eight, Dwight was born with Down syndrome. As the Williams siblings were growing up in Miami, each one was groomed to help take care of their baby brother. They began a rotation—every week, one sibling would be responsible for helping Dwight get ready for school in the morning and for bed in the evening. Caring for Dwight became second nature to the siblings as their father instructed each one: “You will never place him in an institution.”

Eventually, Dwight’s siblings all left home to go to college. One ended up staying in Miami, one in Jacksonville, Florida, while the other five settled in Atlanta. Dwight continued to live with their parents. After high school he entered a day program, but once he aged out of that, he spent most of his time at home. Over the next few years, the Williams siblings began to notice some regression in Dwight’s behavior. When their parents became ill, they knew it was time. “We’ve got to come together and take care of Dwight,” says sister Roslyn.

Knowing that their father, then in his 90s, was a fierce advocate for Dwight and never wanted his other children to feel “burdened” with Dwight’s care, the siblings anticipated resistance from their father. So they came up with a plan: brother Tom and sister Teresa would drive to Miami, and they would tell their father that they wanted to bring Dwight to Atlanta just for a visit. When they finally confessed that they were moving him permanently, Dad conceded.

Once in Atlanta, the siblings fell into their natural rotation with Dwight. He lives four days a week with his brother Tom, then spends each weekend with another sibling in Atlanta. Twice a year he spends a month or two with his sister in Jacksonville. Dwight has his own room and clothes in each household, and the rotation feels quite natural to all the siblings, including Dwight, thanks to their parents.

Dwight with his best buddy, Chico
Dwight used to be terrified of dogs until his best buddy Chico joined the family.

Dwight spent his first three years in Georgia on the waiting list for a Medicaid waiver, but the siblings did not wait to find him support services. Tom Williams was already familiar with the Frazer Center. He and his brother-in-law own and run an IT company, Integrated Management Systems (IMS). In 2001, an old Miami acquaintance was on staff at Frazer. Tom became interested in helping out with Frazer’s tech needs, but it took several years for the stars to align. He had worked with Paige McKay Kubik at Sheltering Arms, so when Paige came on board as Frazer’s CEO in 2014, Tom started volunteering his services, and now IMS is the company that keeps Frazer’s tech systems flowing smoothly.

If any issues arise, Tom is readily available to come to the rescue. And when he is here, he likes to pop in to see Dwight—who is likely not even here because he is on an outing. Dwight enjoys volunteering with Meals on Wheels, or going to a game or a show. When he is at Frazer he loves dancing with his friends, and he’s known for his cheery disposition. When he first started the program, it took a few weeks to adjust to his new environs, but now, “He loves his friends here,” says Roslyn. He’s so eager to see them every day, “I can’t even get a hug when I drop him off!” she laughs. “Frazer has been a godsend.”

Aside from the initial Medicaid waiting list, the biggest obstacle that the family runs into with Dwight’s care is the staff turnover that is so common in the disabilities arena nationally. Virtually every year they have to orient a new support coordinator who is provided by one of three agencies contracted with the state.

As for the day-to-day living, the Williams siblings have found their groove, and we at Frazer are honored to be part of the family.


Here at Frazer, we do our best to hire and keep great staff by providing great benefits in addition to a warm and inclusive environment. Simply raising salaries across the board for any agency in the disabilities arena is actually not simple at all. Read here and here to learn more about this national workforce crisis.