Frances P. Allegra, Esquire
Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc.
Frances P. Allegra is the Executive Director of Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. a non-profit organization created in response to the need for local control and leadership of the newly-privatized child welfare system. Fran has been a part of Our Kids since its inception, first serving as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and now Executive Director. She has been involved through the start-up phase and transition of services from the state of Florida.
Fran leads an organization that has successfully transitioned one of the largest, most complex foster care regions in the state in four months, rather than the planned ten months. In its first year of operation, Our Kids finalized more than 400 children's adoptions and dramatically reduced the number of children assigned to each caseworker. Fran lead the organization's efforts to successfully lobby the Florida Legislature for creation of a 3 year pilot program designed to enhance finance and performance outcomes and measures in child welfare. The pilot may lead to groundbreaking statewide changes in child welfare that could serve as a national model. As a result of Fran's work with the legislature, Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio included Our Kids in the "100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future" book as Idea #68.
Seen in the community as a champion of children's rights, Allegra is also an active member of the Florida Bar Association and numerous judicial groups which promote the welfare of children.
In the latter part of 2006, she was awarded the 2006 Most Valuable Protector Award by the Voices for Children Foundation.
Prior to her involvement with Our Kids, Allegra served as general counsel from 1999 to 2004 for CHARLEE of Dade County, Inc. (Children Have All Rights, Legal, Educational, and Emotional), a private, non-profit, foster care agency. While at CHARLEE, she worked with community advocates to develop a model of community based care for Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Her successful efforts also led to the CHARLEE Program being designated a legislative model program, the forerunner of the successful system of care to be implemented by Our Kids as the CBC lead agency.
From 1997 to 2004, Allegra was a solo practitioner in Miami, Florida, specializing in the areas of juvenile dependency (including all aspects of child welfare); family law and criminal defense. She was formerly a staff attorney with the Department of Children and Families (formerly known as the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services) and an attorney with the Family Reunification Legal Office, representing indigent parents accused of abuse, neglect and abandonment in dependency court.
Allegra is admitted to practice law in Florida, the United States Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey in 1990 and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Literature from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1987.