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Frank Cervone, Esq. '75 Receives Kutak-Dodds Prize

Frank P. Cervone, Esq. ‘75 is the recipient of the 2019 Kutak-Dodds Civil Prize, which is awarded annually by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) to honor the accomplishments of civil legal aid attorneys, public defenders, assigned counsel, or public interest lawyers who, through the practice of law, are significantly contributing to the enhancement of human dignity and quality of life of those individuals who are unable to afford legal representation. The award was presented in Washington, DC on June 12, 2019 during the NLADA Exemplar Award Dinner.

Executive Director at the Support Center for Child Advocates (CHILD ADVOCATES), Frank has been dedicated to serving abused and neglected children in Philadelphia – and across the nation for almost 30 years. Frank carries his own caseload and is a consistent present in the lives of the young people he represents – many long after their cases have closed. He shares his dedication and sensitivity to the unique needs of court-involved children with the thousands of lawyers who CHILD ADVOCATES trains to provide impactful pro bono representation. Under his leadership, CHILD ADVOCATES has helped more than 10,000 children lead safer, healthier lives – a legacy that will go on for generations. In fact, thanks to a model of whole-child representation championed by Frank, more than 90% of CHILD ADVOCATES’ cases close with children in safe, permanent homes.

Frank has guided and managed efforts to improve civil rights of children through policy, legislation, and reform of the child welfare system nationwide. In the 1990s, he helped lead the ABA’s successful creation of the first-ever ethics and practice standards for children’s lawyers, and more recently in Pennsylvania, he spearheaded the development of the state’s unique and influential model to calculate responsible caseload sizes for lawyers representing children and parents in child welfare cases. Frank’s dream is that counsel will do everything humanly possible while children are in their watch to help them lead happy lives.

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