An evangelical in the Department of Health and Human Services discusses his role.
The federal bureaucracy is probably the last place evangelicals would expect to find a strong profamily advocate. But the man who occupies a strategic government position for dealing with policies and programs that bear on family life is Jerry Regier, an evangelical Christian with 14 years of experience in a Campus Crusade for Christ ministry.
Regier, 37, is one of three associate commissioners in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children, Youth, and Families. He heads the Office for Families, created under President Jimmy Carter to set in motion the recommendations emerging from the 1980 White House Conference on Families. With the arrival of the Reagan administration and Regier’s appointment one year ago, the Office for Families has steered a more conservative course, leaving most of the White House Conference ideas behind.
What Regier hopes to accomplish is to bring a whole-family perspective to problems that are often handled with individuals in mind, such as day care, teen pregnancy, and personnel policies that affect families. He has also given evangelical family experts better access to people who set policy in the administration and Congress. The agency he works for administers programs including Head Start, adoption assistance, runaway-youth shelters, foster care, and child welfare.
In an interview withCHRISTIANITY TODAY’SWashington correspondent, Beth Spring, Regier spelled out what “protecting the family” means to him and discussed his role as a Christian in government.
What was your role in the White House Conference on Families?
I was on the national task force that compiled the final report. I got involved ...1
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