Schwab family

Schwab family together at a visit last spring. Photo source: Schwab family.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

Tuesday, December 13th, was a day of victory for the Schwab family, and their advocate Jennifer Winn is calling it “a miracle.”

When Raymond and Amelia Schwab walked into the Riley County Courthouse in Kansas Tuesday morning, it looked like they were going to lose their children. Child Protective Services’ social workers had made it clear that they were pushing for termination of parental rights during the 3 day permanency hearing.

Instead, the judge ruled that there will be no termination, but instead, they are to be reunified with their children.

Raymond Schwab told Health Impact News:

They really were attempting to terminate, and they failed.

It has been 18 long months since 5 of their 6 children were first seized by Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) over false allegations. (Their oldest was already of age.) Raymond, a Navy Gulf War veteran, went on a hunger strike last spring in the hopes of getting his children home.

Like many military veterans, Raymond suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and when pharmaceutical products were used to treat his symptoms, he developed a heroin addiction. He was prescribed medical marijuana to break his heroin addiction, and the family was living in Colorado homeschooling their children where medical marijuana is legal. The family was happy, and Raymond had successfully returned to the work force.

Schwab arrested

Raymond Schwab was arrested in Kansas earlier this year while protesting the removal of his children. He was allegedly kept naked in a dirty cell overnight. (Story.)

But while visiting Kansas where marijuana is not legal, false allegations led to CPS taking custody of their children. The Schwab family case gained national media attention over the civil rights of military veterans and medical marijuana users.

Raymond reports that the judge on Tuesday “believed that our children deserved their parents.” He wants an ICPC – Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children – to be completed within 6 months. This will require a home study of the parents’ home in Colorado to be completed, and then the children will be turned over to Colorado. The number of visitations will increase prior to that, with the goal of unsupervised visitation soon.

Reunification, unfortunately, usually does not happen immediately when children are in the foster care system. Even though they were abruptly seized from their parents and their homes, generally reunification of families takes place over the course of several months.

See original story:

Navy Dad Goes on Hunger Strike in Kansas Until State-Kidnapped Children are Returned or He Starves to Death


Raymond and Amelia Schwab on the first day of the 17 day hunger strike. Photo source: Schwab family.

The strike ended after 17 days when a federal lawsuit was filed against DCF.

Kansas Dad Ends Hunger Strike – Federal Lawsuit Filed To Return His Children

The couple have fought long and hard, not only for their own children, but also to expose the corruption that they found in Kansas family courts, corruption that affects thousands of families across the state. Raymond says that several things came together for their victory this week. The court and DCF are getting pressure on many fronts. There is pending litigation in federal court. Their case plan has been completed. Congressmen have been calling for accountability and for the firing of some officials within the DCF system.

Scwab and Jennifer Winn celebrating on 12 13 16

Advocate Jennifer Winn and a giddy Raymond Schwab celebrate victory. Source: Facebook Livestream video.

The Schwabs also have an attorney, Jennifer Chaffee, whom they say is actually doing her job. She reportedly reviewed the evidence in their case and saw for herself that numerous civil rights were being violated. Raymond says:

Everything was failing before because nobody was doing their job.

Social workers were caught lying to the court, and people were illegally signing documents for the Schwab children. There were numerous biases of the social workers, as well as conflicts of interests. Previous court-appointed attorneys failed to present evidence and file appropriate motions. The Schwabs believe that all that was business-as-usual for DCF, who is “so used to being unconstitutional” that they didn’t know how to act when they were challenged. This is consistent with the testimonies of hundreds of other parents who have contacted Health Impact News. It is almost as if those in the system are in their own little bubble and have forgotten all concept of right and wrong.

We realized it was bad, says Raymond, but we didn’t realize it was this bad.

“First and foremost,” Raymond and Amelia give glory to God for their victory in court.

People need to understand that this is a spiritual war [for our children].

In a celebratory livestream video after court, advocate Jennifer Winn pointed out that, when child protective services gets involved with a family illegally or unjustly:

It’s not just the adults who suffer; it’s the children.

Raymond Schwab spoke of his long beard and long hair. He stated that he is not shaving or cutting his hair until his kids are home, as a visible sign to them and to the world of how long he and his wife have fought to bring their children back home. They hope that it will happen soon, but they are not letting their guard down.

The Schwabs offer this counsel to other parents in the battle to get their children home:

Don’t ever stop fighting, even if they’re terminated, let’s all work together to find out ways to help one another…. Never give up …. Continue to protect your rights. If their lips are moving, they’re probably lying.

Other coverage of the Schwab family story:

Veteran Dad on Hunger Strike Arrested with No Charges – Kept Naked in Dirty Cell

Wife of Hunger Strike Dad Arrested in Kansas While Protesting to Have Kidnapped Children Returned