PhD, Social Policy, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University (2016)
Cohort Three Fellow

Academic Mentor
Laurel K. Leslie, MD, MPH
Vice President of Research, American Board of Pediatrics; Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine

Policy Mentor
Pamela Rheaume
Manager of Professional Development Child Welfare Institute, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families

Current Institutional Affiliation
Resilient Futures, LLC
Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Areas of Expertise

Child Welfare and Foster Care Systems, Early Childhood Education and Initiatives, Economic Supports for Families, Home Visiting and Maltreatment Prevention, Implementation Science, Case Study Research, Content Analysis, Grounded Theory, Mixed Methods, Homeless Families and Young PeopleInfants and Toddlers, Low-Income Families and IndividualsPreschool-aged Children, Child Welfare Policy, Part C Early Intervention, Mandated Referral to Early Intervention, Parent Engagement, Interagency Coordination, Professional Development in Child Welfare, Infant/Toddler Social-Emotional Development


April Allen, PhD, MPA is a cohort three Doris Duke Fellow. Dr. Allen currently serves as a Data Driven Practice Advisor at Casey Family Programs, the nation's largest operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families across America. In this role, she works to improve data-driven decision-making in state, county, and tribal child welfare systems by increasing the capacity of public child welfare systems to use data to advance policy and practice improvements.

Prior to joining Casey Family Programs, Dr. Allen was the Director of Policy and Planning at Vermont's Department for Children and Families. She has also managed large research studies focused on child health and development at Boston Children’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center, taught graduate-level courses in research methods and social welfare at Boston University’s School of Social Work, and collaborated with policy-makers in Massachusetts to facilitate engagement of maltreated children in Early Intervention services.

Dr. Allen received her PhD in Social Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in 2016. Her dissertation research focused on policies and programs that support healthy development for children involved with the child welfare system. She completed her undergraduate studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, majoring in political studies and English language and literature, and holds a master’s degree in public administration, also from Queen's University.