Karakahl Rene Allen-Eckard

Picture of Karakahl Rene Allen-Eckard

Program Manager


Kara Allen-Eckard is the Community Developer and Family and Youth Partner program lead for the Center for Family and Community Engagement. She has worked for the Center since 2004 supporting our work with the Division of Social Services, the Department of Public Instruction and the Children’s Bureau Fostering YES grant. She has also supported the centers curriculum development work with the Cree Nation in Canada and indigenous communities in Guatemala.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Virginia, and earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Washington. 

Kara was Program Director of the Community-Family Partnership Project in Kent, Washington from 1998-2003 where she utilized family-group decision making programs in child welfare to develop partnerships between families, communities and social services.  Since moving to North Carolina in 2004, her work with the center has focused on the development of family, youth and agency partnerships that highlight service recipient voices in research, curricular development and training.  Kara is co-chair of the statewide Family Agency Collaborative Training Team (FACTT), a collaborative effort to support family and youth partner trainers and partnership training efforts in North Carolina.  She believes strongly in the need to involve families, youth and community in the development of training, programming and policy.  Her most recent work with the center is a partnership with the North Carolina Division of Social Services to develop a state-level Child Welfare Family Advisory Council.  Kara's future goals with the center are to continue to support programs that engage family, youth and community voices as an essential partner in policy, programming, research, training and education.


Burke, T., Allen-Eckard, K., Kemp, S., Ware, J., Ackroyd, A., & Munoz, S (2003). Community Family Support Meetings: Adding Community Resources to Family Decision Making. Protecting Children, 18, 104-107.

Kemp, S., Allen-Eckard, K., Ackroyd, A., Becker, M., & Burke, T. (2005). Community Family Support Meetings: Connecting Families, Public Child Welfare, and Community Resources. In Mallon, G. & Hess, P. (Eds.), Child Welfare for the 21st Century: A Handbook of Practices, Policies, and Programs (pp. 102-117). New York: Columbia University Press.

Taliaferro, J.D., DeCuir-Gunby, J., Allen-Eckard, K. (2009). 'I can see parents being reluctant': perceptions of parental involvement using child and family teams in schools. Child & Family Social Work, 14, 278-288. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2206.2008.00594.x 

Allen-Eckard, K., Latz, M., & Coppedge, A. (2010). What do families want? Family voices in the training room. Protecting Children, 25, 11-21.



  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish from The University of Virginia, 1992
  • Master in Social Work from The University of Washington, 1996