Charlene Brooks
Chief Executive Officer

As CEO Charlene has responsibility for the strategic direction of Parenting NI, a vibrant and proactive charity which aims to meet the diverse needs of parents and families.  With a strong educational background having third level qualifications in Community work and Leadership and Management, Charlene has worked in the voluntary sector her entire working career, over 17 years of which at Senior Management level.  Charlene has a wealth of experience in leading dynamic teams who deliver early intervention and prevention programmes, services and interventions and has been CEO of Parenting NI since 2016, having been involved with the organisation since 2006 . 

Charlene is a member of the All Island Parenting Network steering group and is currently Vice Chair of the NICVA Executive Committee, Independent Chair of the Charity Commission Stakeholder Forum and Chair of the NI Anti Bullying Forum (NIABF).  She works closely with Government Departments, political parties and individuals and organisations across the private, voluntary and community sectors – representing the views and aspirations of parents and families from across NI.


Meet the Senior Leadership Team

Muriel Bailey
Head of Services and Operations

Since gaining a postgraduate in Childrens Services, Muriel has worked within the Voluntary and Community Sectors. She has extensive knowledge of families who are within the threshold of child protection and receive services from tier 1 through to tier 4.

Muriel’s background is in Early Years, training, family support, therapeutic counselling, and operations management, as well as having skills in strategic planning and business development all within the education, statutory and community & voluntary sector.

Muriel has over 20 years’ experience of leading high achieving staff teams and extensive experience in managing and developing staff progression and services.

Gail Toal
Transformational Lead

Gail has responsibility for assisting Parenting NI to develop and deliver a strategically focussed plan for sustainability and growth.   

Gail previously worked as the Financial Wellbeing Delivery Lead for Bank of Ireland UK. She has a wealth of knowledge with over 25 years’ experience in business and organisation development working collaboratively with external stakeholders across all sectors.


Sharon McWhirter
Operations Manager

Sharon has worked as Office Manager with Parenting NI since May 2016, having previously been with the organisation from January 1999 to August 2015. During her early years with Parenting NI, Sharon successfully completed a CIPD Certificate in Personnel Practice which enabled her to move into a human resource role within the organisation.

The Office Manager role has responsibility for the co-ordination of the human resource function and management of administration systems and processes within Parenting NI, ensuring that standards of best practice are maintained at all times.

Shirley Millar
Support Services Manager

Shirley Millar, Family Support Services Manager, has worked with Parenting NI for 13 years across various areas of work including parenting education programmes and workshops, family support and home visiting services. 

Shirley has worked in Family support for 18 years, having previously worked as a Young Parents and Dads project worker with Sure Start

Our Staff

Cahir Murray – Dads Support Services Lead

Kelly Barbour – Parenting Support & Programme Co-ordinator

Noreen Coates – Parenting Support Officer

Teresa Campton- Finance & Administration Assistant

Michelle Flanagan – Support Services Administrator

Tracey Gillespie – Parenting Support Officer

Tanya Hamilton – Parenting Support Officer (SHSCT)

Kathy Jan – Parenting Support Officer

Lauren Walls – Education and Participation Officer

Clare McGillion – Families Together Parenting Support Officer (Strabane)

Christina Murray – Families Together Parenting Support Officer (Antrim)

Michelle Maxwell – Communications and Administration Support Officer

Emma Hitchen – Senior Participation and Research Officer

Claire Hanna – Family Support Services Manager