by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
Shortly before Mother’s Day 3 years ago, on April 26, 2015, the Department for Children and Families (DCF) in Kansas seized 5 children from Raymond and Amelia Schwab over false allegations.
Now, just before Mother’s Day 2018 – 3 years later – their nightmare is officially over. The children are home and the case against them is finally closed.
See our original coverage of their story here:
Navy Dad Goes on Hunger Strike in Kansas Until State-Kidnapped Children are Returned or He Starves to Death
The happy parents took to Facebook Live on Thursday night, May 10, to share their joyous news, surrounded by 2 of their children and a couple of pet guinea pigs. The children shouted:
We don’t have court anymore!
In a stunning surprise, we got an email today that the Kansas case has been dismissed. We are officially, completely and utterly out of out of DCF business, out of court business.
It is over.
There is a great deal of excitement in the Schwab household over the news, and Amelia had a huge smile on her face as she exclaimed:
The children came home on December 27, 2017, but as families whose children have been taken by Child Protective Services know, just because the children come home, it did not mean that the case was over at that time. Social workers and court hearings continued to be part of their lives until the case was finally closed yesterday.
The final closure of the case was not expected to happen for another 2 months, but the unexpected email arrived Thursday, May 10, 2018 to announce the good news.
Even so, Raymond told Health Impact News that even this is not really a “win” because they lost so many years with their children. Those are years they can never get back.
Mother of Medically Kidnapped Children Speaks Out
Amelia Schwab has been largely silent throughout the family’s entire ordeal, staying in the background as her Navy Veteran husband became the voice and face of the fight for families all across Kansas and even the United States.
On Friday, she spoke up in a powerful Facebook post about what they have been through:
I still can’t believe it’s over!! The stress I have felt for 3 years is gone!! I have my children back!!!! We are healing…
Now we will persevere with making these people be held accountable! We will shout it from the rooftops what dcf kvc and st Francis community services did!! We will encourage others to file law suits and be proactive! We will help others when we can. This isn’t over by a long shot.
I was silent but my children are here behind me… so now it’s time to roar!! My fight now is for our own justice, others suffering the same cause as ours, and my future grandchildren’s lives.
Child predator services needs shut down!! We need a new system!
People say “what will we do for the children who need intervention if there is no cps…” you will save so many lives that’s what you will do if child predator services get shut down. Look at the statistics! The WORST homes are SAFER than cps care!!
The children who need to be taken need help. Right now they don’t get it, they are further traumatized and most of the time drugged. Children that are DYING from abuse at the hands of the state care. Sexual abuse and child sex trafficking is rampant for children in state care.
The parents that need help, training, and real resources that will actually help (in most cases); right now they are bombarded with case plan tasks and futile classes.
Many parents take their own lives in the midst of the stress child predator services puts on them. Too many children feel hopeless as well ending their short lives.
We need a new system in place! That’s years beyond, it’s probably true. If people stay dormant and do nothing except complain, it may never change.
I do see an awakening but not enough to make a difference.
We have to be louder!!! We need more people to get involved! We need better coordination nationally! So many children’s lives depend on what we do!! Sit back be silent and blood is on your hands also. If you know what’s happening and don’t do anything you are guilty of whatever these children in state custody go through.
It’s time to stand up and speak the truth to save these children. It’s time for the children to speak and be heard.
Amelia speaks of things about which the general public remains largely unaware. Like most Americans, they learned these things the hard way – as they happened to her own family.
Hard Fought Battle
The Schwabs have traveled cross-country speaking out against the injustices that they see in the system.
Raymond Schwab went on a 17 day hunger strike on the steps of the steps of the Kansas capitol. The couple and their oldest son Tyler have traveled to Washington, D.C., several times to rally for families and to speak with legislators.
Tyler was not taken by DCF because he was already 18 by the time his siblings were taken. He spoke out many times on behalf of his younger brothers and sister.
Theirs was a hard-fought battle. It was costly.
During the reunification process, Raymond Schwab took a job in Puerto Rico helping the people there rebuild after their hurricane. He was thankful that God provided the job, but he points out the irony of having to go so far away from home simply in order to be able to pay for the reunification of his own family.
He says that they were spending $700 a month on court-ordered counseling because he didn’t qualify for Medicaid. They had to come up with $1000 for a home inspection in order to get their children back.
How can families without resources fight such an expensive battle? Raymond said:
There were times I didn’t think it was going to happen. I would not want to subject what our family had to go through on my worst enemy, and yet there are parents that have far worse, and there are parents that get [their parental rights] terminated, and there are grandparents that get terminated.
Like Most Foster Children, Schwab Children Were Taken for Unsubstantiated Allegations
The Schwab children should not have been taken, as is clear from the original allegations were found to be “unsubstantiated” less than 3 months after they were taken.
The children were taken in Kansas while their parents were packing up to move back to their home state of Colorado. The Schwab parents thought that things would be cleared up quickly, so they continued their move as they worked to get their children back.
The children were kept in Kansas DCF custody after this because their father, a Navy veteran suffering from PTSD, used medical cannabis to treat his PTSD in Colorado, a state where it was legal.
It was in the Scwabs’ story that we first learned that most of the allegations against families whose children are taken from them are not substantiated.
The Topeka Capitol-Journal reported in 2016 that a DCF spokesperson admitted that 96% of the children taken by Kansas DCF are taken for reasons that are not substantiated:
Determining whether an allegation is true is separate from a recommendation to remove children from the home, said Theresa Freed, communications director for DCF. Though an unsubstantiated finding that doesn’t lead to a parent getting their child back may be confusing, Freed said, substantiated findings account for only 4 percent of the removals the agency handles.
The numbers are not much better nationwide.
According to the 2016 Child Maltreatment Report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only 17% of the allegations against parents are “substantiated” or “founded.” (Source.)
Almost 40% of American Families at Risk to Have Their Children Kidnapped by the State – Over 50% if You Are Black
Not Abused at Home, But Traumatized by Abuse in Foster Care
As Amelia pointed out, children are more likely to be abused or even killed in foster care than they are in their own homes. Sadly, this is something their family learned the hard way. Their children, too, suffered abuse under the system that says it protects children.
Health Impact News has previously reported that, under DCF care, at least one of the Schwab children was sexually assaulted, and others were abused.
One child was punched in the face and his glasses were broken, but DCF told the parents in a letter not to worry because the state would replace the glasses broken in the assault.
Unlike the allegations against the parents, those allegations of abuse have been substantiated. At least one of their children was placed on psychotropic drugs.
Their friend and advocate Jennifer Winn, former gubernatorial candidate for the state of Kansas, joined the Facebook Live broadcast to say:
Now we have a family, a beautiful family, that has so much healing to do from the trauma caused by DCF. But it’s over!
Amid Their Gratitude, Schwabs Vow to Keep Fighting for Other Families Trapped in the System
The Schwabs consider themselves blessed to have had the support of many. They are grateful to all the people who have stood by them, prayed, financially supported them, and published their story.
Raymond recognized that God was with them through everything, and that there were times that they felt like giving up. In those moments, they were thankful for people who helped to hold them up:
Thank You, Jesus! We can’t forget that. We thank the Lord first and foremost, because it was our faith praying through this and having confidence that we were not alone.
Even in the spiritual [unclear], that helped us stand up when we didn’t want to stand up anymore, we didn’t want to get up any more.
He wants to encourage other parents who are fighting for their children:
We’ve just got to keep up the fight and hope that our story inspires people to never give up. Never quit. Never surrender.
The part of fighting DCF to get their children home is indeed over. But the battle for families is not over by any means. Raymond and Amelia Schwab and Jennifer Winn have each stated that they intend to keep fighting for justice for all families.
Raymond said that they will keep supporters posted as they heal and work to help other families and change the system. They will continue to post on their Facebook page, Free the Schwab Children, although, Raymond said with a smile, they will have to change the name of the page:
The Schwab Children Are Free!
Their son Asher shouted out a blessing at the end of the video:
Let the Lord be with you!
See our continuing coverage of the Schwab family story:
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