Arlene has two children, Coby and Lisa, from a previous marriage. Her ex-husband was a bit of a wild type and eventually ran out on her. She starts dating René Lenier. He was, unknown to Arlene, the Bon Temps serial killer. Who was killing women that had been with vampires. Arlene was also shown to be rather prejudiced about vampires. She showed her obvious disapproval for Sookie's budding relationship with Bill.
When Arlene needed a babysitter for a date night with René, she asks Sookie to babysit Lisa and Coby. Upon dropping off her children she finds Bill will be there as well. Worried about the vampire, she puts silver bracelets on the children, in an effort to keep them safe from Bill.
After René was discovered to be the killer, Arlene became a hysterical mess, She felt guilty and went to Sookie's side bearing flowers.