Appointment of a Non-Executive Chair and six Non-Executive Members to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council

Date published: 20 March 2018

The Department of Health today announced the appointment of a Non-Executive Chair and six Non-Executive Members to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) for a maximum period of four years.

Public Appointments Image


Mr Paul Martin - from 1 April 2018

Stakeholder Members:

Mrs Roslyn Dougherty – from 1 April 2018

Mrs Noelle Barton – from 1 April 2018

Mrs Sarah Browne – from 1 April 2018

Registrant Members:

Mrs Christine Hunter – from 1 April 2018

Miss Jacqueline McGarvey – from 1 April 2018

Mr David Hayes – from 1 April 2018

The Non-Executive Chair post carries a time commitment of 2 days per week and attracts an annual remuneration of £17,403. The Non-Executive Member posts all carry a time commitment of 2 days per month and attract an annual remuneration of £6,367.

The appointments were made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. A selection panel, which included an independent assessor as required under the Commissioner’s Code, considered the suitability of all candidates.

Notes to editors: 

1. Appointments:

Mr Paul Martin is married with 2 children and lives in Magherafelt. He graduated as a qualified Social Worker in 1973. In 1988, after working in a number of frontline positions, Paul joined the Ministry of Health and Social Services as a Social Services Inspector and from 1996-2000 served as Assistant Chief Social Services Inspector.

Until 2009 he was the Chief Social Services Inspector/Officer and Advisor to the Minister for Health and Social Services responsible for social care and social policy development. Responsibilities included the establishment of the NISCC and the reform of Social Services and executive lead responsibility for the Family and Child Care Programme.
Over the last 25 years Paul has been involved with Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO) in social care projects in the Balkan nations and more recently Jordan.

He resigned his position at the Department of Health and Social Services in 2009 to take up a role as Resident Advisor to the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in Bulgaria with NI-CO and the EU.

Paul was appointed a CBE in June 2009 in recognition for his contribution to the development of child protection and social services in the UK.

He moved to Jordan in 2013 to take up another EU Resident Advisor role and on his return continued, through NI-CO, with his work there with the MoSD focusing on the development of social care. In 2017 Paul accepted the position of Honorary Consul for The Republic of Bulgaria in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Roslyn Dougherty is a qualified Social Worker with almost 40 years’ experience. She has worked across a range of professional and managerial positions. Prior to her retirement in 2016 she was the Assistant Director for Social Work in the South Eastern Trust with responsibility for Learning Development and Research. Since retirement Roslyn has worked as a Part Time Lecturer in Belfast Metropolitan College and has also undertaken Tutor and practice assessor responsibility for the Research Programme at Ulster University.

Roslyn has been a member of the Governing Body for the North West Regional College since 2016. She serves there on the Staffing Committee and is Vice Chair of Audit and Risk Committee.

Noelle Barton is a qualified Social Worker and has worked in the Health and Social Care sector in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland for thirty seven years. She has extensive experience in a range of social work practice, training and managerial posts and worked as Programme Manager for The Social Work Strategy in Northern Ireland. She was a founder member of the Alzheimer’s Society in Northern Ireland and was on the Executive Board of NIASW. She was also a member of the Central Personal Social Services Advisory Committee.  She chaired the Initial Professional Development Programme Board for a number of years. She is currently working with the Appeals Tribunal of Northern Ireland and sits as the disability qualified member on Appeals panels.

Sarah Browne qualified as a Social Worker in 1981 and she worked in the South Eastern Trust and legacy Down Lisburn Trust for 38 years until her retirement in December 2016. Prior to retirement she held the post of Assistant Director for Older People’s Services and was responsible for the planning, commissioning and delivery of high quality health and social care services.

Sarah was the Trust Lead for Adult Safeguarding Services, Carer Support Services and Self Directed Support Services. She represented the Trust on the Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership from its inception until her retirement.

Sarah has been invited to join the Action on Elder Abuse National Trustee Board as one of the Northern Ireland Trustees and she is also Vice Chair of the Action on Elder Abuse Northern Ireland Advisory Committee.

Sarah was awarded an OBE for her contributions to the Social Care Sector in Northern Ireland in the New Years’ Honours List 2016.

Mrs Christine Hunter has been a qualified Social Worker since 1983 and is registered with NISCC. She initially worked in Social Services and was then employed until 2017, for 32 years, as a Probation Officer and as Manager in PBNI. Christine managed a number of developmental projects in PBNI including the establishment of a Victims Unit. She has a particular interest in Restorative Practice.  Christine has a commitment to ongoing professional development including post graduate training in research, management and restorative practice. In 2015 she became a Winston Churchill Fellow.

In addition to her social work experience, Christine brings a range of skills to NISCC, including leadership, strategic thinking, partnership working, communication and governance.

Christine is a non-remunerated executive board member of NIACRO and a volunteer with Special Olympics.

Mrs Jacqueline McGarvey is a qualified Social Worker with over 30 years’ extensive experience working within Statutory and Voluntary Agencies within Children and Family, Adult and Disability Services in Northern Ireland. Jacqui has been an Independent Social Work Consultant since June 2016, during that time she has been appointed by the Safeguarding Board in Northern Ireland to undertake CMRs (Serious Case Management Reviews) for children up to the age of 18 years. She has also been appointed as a Panel Member for National Independent Review Panel for People with a Disability by the HSE, Ireland.

Prior to June 2016, Jacqui was an Assistant Director within the Health and Social Services Trusts for 11 years. Her role involved strategically developing and managing services. During this role Jacqui has been involved in improving the quality of services and has advocated for many years to ensure that staff within social work and social care had support for development and learning.  Jacqui has previously commissioned services for children and families and was Policy Advisor for Safeguarding Children. She was also involved in the Audit of Hospitals for Children with Mental Health and Learning Disabilities for the Department of Heath Social Services and Public Safety.

Dr David Hayes qualified as a Social Worker in 1988 and worked as both a practitioner and trainer in Family and Child Care services in North and West Belfast.  He joined the staff of Queen's University Belfast in 2005 and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work and Programme Director for the Relevant Graduate Route to the Bachelor of Social Work degree.

David completed his PhD in 2008 and his teaching and research interests are focused on social work services to children and families.  He is a member of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and Chair of the Northern Ireland branch of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (BASPCAN).  He is an Associate Editor of the journal Child Abuse Review and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Practice: Social Work in Action.

2. The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) is the workforce regulator for the social work and social care workforce.  It has a statutory responsibility to set and regulate standards for social work and social care practice and for social work education and training. 

3. NISCC is also a Sector Skills Council – a member of the UK Alliance Skills for Care and Development. It has the responsibility of ensuring that an appropriately skilled and qualified workforce is available and works alongside employers to guarantee the right learning and development frameworks are in place.

4. The Board of the Council comprises of a Non-Executive Chair and 12      Non-Executive members. 

5.  Appointments to NISCC are made with the approval of the Department of Health. There are no specific qualifications for appointment. Each person is appointed to act in a personal capacity and not to represent any particular interest or group.

6.  All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. All appointees declared that they had not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

7. Media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 90520074 or email: For out of hours please contact to Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.

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