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Local Guardian ad Litem pens memoirs of life as a foster parent

Port St. Lucie - Most people have children, raise them and then send them on their way.
Marlene and Richard Burns did that, too…then added an extra hundred.

The Burns’ were foster parents for more than 30 years. Marlene Burns, now a Guardian ad Litem in Okeechobee County, captures the experience in her newly published book titled, "KIDS, KIDS, KIDS My Life Raising 100 Foster Children Over 30 Years".

“They often came to us hungry, ill clothed and dirty,” Mrs. Burns said. “All needed love, shelter, stability and security in their lives.”

The Burns’ story began more than 50 years ago in Madison County, Indiana, where they were licensed as foster parents and eventually adopted one son.

“This book shares tidbits of our joys and frustrations, and the richness added to our lives by 100 foster children,” Mrs. Burns said. Humorously referring to her age, she said she decided to write the book last summer before she “ran out of time.”

Mrs. Burns is a retired teacher and is a deacon and choir member in her church. She also is a member of the Okeechobee Community Choir and volunteers weekly at the local food pantry. She and her husband, nicknamed “Daddy” by the children in their care, have been married 61 years and enjoy traveling the world.

Marlene - author

Marlene Burns with a copy of her book

In 2009, she saw an ad in the local newspapers and decided to continue her lifelong advocacy for foster children by becoming a Guardian ad Litem – someone who represents the interests of foster children in court.

Mrs. Burns’ book is available from in both print and on Kindle. For information on becoming a Guardian ad Litem, visit


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November 22, 2016

Contact: Christina Kaiser
(772) 528-0362