State Hotline Offers Help for Parents

Marion Lofton had four kids of her own.  Now, she's working with Alabama's Parent Assistance line--or PAL--to help moms and dads who need answers or just someone to talk to.

"The people who answer the phone--those resource specialists--they stick with them," Lofton said.  Lofton is director of Alabama's Children's Trust Fund.

Established this year with help from Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley, the toll-free number aids parents who want advice or are simply frustrated with their child.

"There are lots of wonderful times you have with your children.  There are also times where you think, Am I doing anything right?" Lofton explained.

The hotline is a good way to help the problem.

In the first three quarters of 2007, over 14,000 cases of child abuse and neglect were reported in Alabama alone.   Lofton wants to curb that number by offering a helping hand.

"Our agency is set up to strengthen the family so it won't happen," she said.

Recent statistics show a strong majority of callers are female.  She encourages dads to give the hotline a try.

The PAL number is 1-866-962-3030.

Reporter:  Cody Holyoke