Wednesday, the day after a Lubbock County foster care court ruled to keep the ten Rembis children in the state’s custody, their parents spoke out in dismay.
Claire and William Rembis have eleven children, their oldest is living in Colorado, their younger ten children were removed from their custody earlier this month after a series of investigations from CPS.
The judge decided the state should retain custody of the children after what he described as an ongoing pattern of inadequate supervision. He cited the Rembis’ resistance to court orders and CPS investigations as a major reason in his decision.
The Rembis family was expecting to bring their children home Tuesday after the hearing, it has been tough for Ms. Rembis to not have her children at home. She had many things she wishes she could ask them, but she is limited to her weekly visitations.
“The other children here do they bully you? Do the parents [at the foster home] cuss? Things like that, we have no control over and it breaks my heart because we take parenting so seriously,” Claire Rembis said.
Rembis explained that she feels targeted by CPS investigations. Court records show CPS complaints into the Rembis family dating back to 2006 and spanning 3 states. Ms. Rembis is adamant that all the CPS investigations into their family in other states have been closed. After an initial look over court documents relates to their case it does appear that many of the previous CPS investigations into their family have been closed, but there isn’t enough information in those documents for EverythingLubbock.com to determine whether all of their CPS cases are closed.
“They’re not abused or neglected so it’ doesn’t make any sense,” Rembis said of her children.
Witnesses at the hearing testified saying that they saw the Rembis children eating out of a dumpster and saw the children wandering barefoot and unsupervised in an alley.
“What they were saying is that our children roamed the alley alone and ate out of dumpsters, that’s never happened,” Ms. Rembis said. She said she is certain that if her children were hungry they would turn to the kitchen rather than the dumpster for food. She said that her children are not left unsupervised.
Witnesses also said they heard screaming at all hours of the night from the Rembis home. Ms. Rembis explained that sometimes her kids would scream out of frustration, commonly when Mr. Rembis would head to the grocery store in the very early hours of the morning and refuse to take the kids with him.
“There are grains of truth weaved into different testimonies it was said the kids were always dirty, our children at a minimum bathe every other day maybe even more if they need to. If they look dirty it’s because they’ve been playing,” she explained, adding that her children often wore hand-me-down clothes to play in.
The judge referenced a hole filled with trash found in the Rembis home on August 11 in his decidion not to grant custody. When Ms. Rembis was asked about that hole Wednesday, she explained that her children were being “sneaky” and swept their trash into a hole in the floor instead of putting into a trash bag like they were supposed to do.
The Rembis parents said they are skeptical of CPS investigations, they believe that some CPS workers have lied to them in Lubbock. But the Rembis’ said they are ready to comply with future court orders and CPS investigations. The parents said they are confident they will get their kids back soon.
The Lubbock County Disrict Attorney’s office explained that the judge has ordered to put a plan in place to allow the Rembis children to continue with home school-style education, and to incorporate their mother into some part of that education. They that because Ms. Rembis hopes to home school her children, they want to equip her with additional skills as a teacher.
The Rembis family will also be meeting with CPS conservators to create a plan of what they’ll need to accomplish before they can have custody of their children. They have another court hearing in October.