After leading several child welfare and human services organizations over the past two decades, Frances P. Allegra has joined the firm as a partner. An accomplished attorney, nonprofit executive and foster care expert, Ms. Allegra led foster care case management organizations and distinguished herself as an early leader in Florida’s Community-Based Care child welfare model, leading one of Florida’s largest CBC’s, Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. for a decade. Subsequently, she was the founding president of the SEED School of Miami, Florida’s only urban public boarding school. Working alongside state and national child welfare leaders, Ms. Allegra has been instrumental in the success of Florida’s innovative and groundbreaking approach to child protection. By joining Cole, Scott & Kissane, Ms. Allegra continues her work and dedication by defending the nonprofit organizations on the front lines of Florida’s child welfare system. Additionally, Ms. Allegra will be dedicated to defending private and public education institutions in claims brought against them.
She is one of Florida’s instrumental voices with the legal issues facing the foster care and education entities. Our clients will greatly benefit from Fran’s guidance and unique experiences when evaluating the legal issues before them. The firm is also excited to grow this practice area throughout the state by utilizing Fran’s wisdom and her friendships throughout the industry.
She has received numerous honors and awards, including the Angel in Adoption Award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington, DC. Under her leadership, Our Kids was an IDG Computerworld Honors Laureate, received Intel’s Premier IT Knowledge Award in the Client Fleet Management category and received the Mobilizer Award in field service from Mobile Enterprise magazine. During her tenure as CEO of Our Kids, she led the organization’s efforts in creating groundbreaking statewide legislative changes in the Florida child welfare system. As a result, then–Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio included Our Kids in his book 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future, as Idea #68. Fran was tapped by Governor-Elect Rick Scott to serve on the Children and Families Subcommittee of the Health and Human Services transition team.
Fran is admitted to practice law in the state of Florida, as well as before the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and the US District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. She received her juris doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, and her bachelor of arts from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She received her master of science in health informatics and management systems from Florida International University, Chapman Graduate School of Business where she received the award for having the highest GPA.
Fran is a member of Leadership Florida’s Cornerstone XXXVII class. She is a board member and officer of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
At the Intersection of Education and Healthcare, Child Welfare League of America, Washington, DC
Using Technology to Solve Society’s Wicked Problems, eMerge Americas, Miami, FL
Convocation Speaker, College of Social Work, Springfield College, Springfield, MA
What are We Missing? Why do Kids Keep Dying from Abuse and Neglect? Child Welfare League of America, Crystal City, VA
Shared Data and Shared Goals Equal Better Outcomes for Children and Families. National Council on Crime and Delinquency, San Diego, CA
Closing the Feedback Loop with Foster Parents .Florida Coalition for Children. Tallahassee, FL
Measuring Return on Investment in Lives: A Model from Florida. Alliance for Children and Families. Minneapolis, MN
When the Bough Breaks: Preserving the Well-Being of Young Children in Foster Care through Community Partnership built on Evidenced-Based Practices, Society for Community Research and Action, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
Addressing the Needs of Multi-System Youth: Strengthening the Connection between Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice, Georgetown Public Policy Institute’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) and Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps, Washington, DC
Measuring ROI in Lives and Not Dollars. University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Improving Safety Protocols through Public-Private Partnership. Child Welfare League of America, Washington, D.C.
Improving Safety Protocols through Public-Private Partnership. Alliance for Children and Families, Philadelphia, PA
Measuring ROI in Lives and Not Dollars. Mobile Enterprise Magazine, Calabasas, CA
Guest Media Interviews:
WPLG Channel 10, This Week in South Florida with Michael Putney, Florida’s foster care system
WFOR Channel 4, Sunday Morning. Florida’s Child Welfare System
WPBT Channel 2, Issues (recurring guest appearances):– Reforms in Florida’s foster care system, discussion of The Miami Herald’s series on child fatalities, “Innocents Lost,”– Human Trafficking and Florida’s foster care system– The SEED School of Miami and Florida’s Education Reform<
WLRN 91.3 FM, Topical Currents. Education innovations for Foster Care
She co-authored, “Measuring ROI in Lives and Not Dollars” published by the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, University of Minnesota, School of Social Work.