Lynn Johnson, former President Donald Trump’s top child welfare official, is now running children’s initiatives for CityServe, a national faith-based nonprofit.
One of CityServe’s ten issues ares is identified as “The Orphan,” and the organization works with local churches to recruit people willing to provide such children safe, stable homes through family kinship, adoption or foster care.
In her role as the Trump administration’s assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) division of the Department of Health and Human Services, Johnson worked to strengthen the agency’s ties to faith-based groups. She joined CityServe in March as vice president of children’s initiatives.
Upon taking the job, Johnson expressed ambitious plans for the nonprofit. “We need to go into every zip code with the intent to build strength and dignity and caring,” she said, noting that CityServe is seeking to reduce the risk factors associated with abusive home environments, such as poverty, addiction, hunger, single-parenthood, mental health issues and incarceration.
The idea is for churches and faith-based groups to step in with help before a family’s situation becomes so dire that children are at risk of being removed from the home due to poverty-driven neglect or abuse. Should it become necessary, members would be encouraged to step in as caregivers.
Johnson led the Jefferson County child welfare system in Colorado before Trump nominated her to lead ACF in 2017. After a yearlong confirmation process that got delayed by a spat over Trump’s plans to halt new child welfare data collection signed off on by former President Barack Obama, she joined the administration in September of 2018.
The Biden administration has not yet nominated someone to succeed Johnson. JooYeun Chang, who joined the Biden team after leading Michigan’s child welfare agency, is the current acting assistant secretary in charge of ACF.
Note: This article was updated on Friday, May 14.