TUSCALOOSA (Ala.), Jan. 27 — In March 2007, Patsy Riley, then first lady of Alabama, saw a vision for a state-wide resource for parents who need a little support for kids of all ages. The Parenting Assistance Line was born, and as the organization looks to the future, it doesn’t forget its humble roots.
“I feel PAL is a great resource that continues to touch parents in new ways,” said Amy Walker, a parent resource specialist for the Parenting Assistance Line. “I began working with PAL as an Parent Resource Specialist when we were just fielding phone calls. Now, years later, whether it is through our Facebook page, website or live chat system, PAL is growing and touching families in a positive way.”
The Parenting Assistance Line (PAL) is an anonymous resource where parents and caregivers can call to receive advice for any problems they may face. PAL offers information about everything from infant care to rebellious teenagers, and has been a reliable tool for parents who can be overwhelmed trying to find an appropriate resource. PAL is unique because it gives parents information from a comforting and personable perspective through its phone line.
“I think the best aspect of PAL is being able to be there for parents when they call and being the live voice they engage and interact with,” said April Kendrick, director. “We want parents to trust in our information and resources rather than feel overwhelmed with trying to sift through all the opinions, research and pop psychology out there to figure out what to do.”
From its beginnings as BabyTALK, a similar warmline for parents of children up to three years of age, PAL has grown into a multifaceted resource for all parents. In addition to the warmline, PAL is beginning to embrace more technology. The organization is active on social media, provides online resource for parents, and has recently started a live online chat feature.
“We have spent the last few years reevaluating how parents access information,” said Kendrick. “That drove our desire to evolve from just a simple call-in system to a wide array of resources that allow parents to access information at their fingertips.”
Although PAL was created as a state-wide resource, they receive calls from across the country and internationally. As Kendrick and her staff celebrate 10 years of service, they know that there’s even more work to be done to become an even more reliable resource for their community as they look forward to the next 10 years.
“No matter who calls, we feel rewarded for being able to provide an ear for someone to talk to for guidance,” said Kendrick. “We hope that we can continue to serve the next generation of parents.”