The Department of Health has announced the appointment of a Non-Executive Member to the Children’s Court Guardian Agency for Northern Ireland—the new name for the Northern Ireland Guardian ad Litem Agency (NIGALA).
The appointment of Mr David Douglas, Non-Executive (Lay) Member commenced on 1 February 2023 and will end on a date not later than 31 January 2027.
The Non-Executive Member position attracts an annual remuneration of £4,084 with a time commitment of 30 days per year.
The appointment is made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.
NIGALA was established as a Special Agency by virtue of powers contained in the Health and Personal Social Services (Special Agencies) (Northern Ireland) Order 1990. The constitution of NIGALA was set out in the Northern Ireland Guardian ad Litem Agency (Establishment and Constitution) Order (NI) 1995, which came into operation on 1st December 1995.
Following the decision to change the name of the Agency, the Children’s Court Guardian Agency for Northern Ireland was established by the Children’s Court Guardian Agency for Northern Ireland (Establishment and Constitution) Order (Northern Ireland) 2023, which came into operation on 6 March 2023.
The Board of the Agency comprises a Non-Executive Chair, four Non-Executive members and the Chief Executive.
Notes to editors:
- Mr Douglas qualified as a social worker in 1986 and worked within statutory children’s services in Northern Ireland. He has held senior management roles in early years; family support; child protection; children’s residential; fostering and adoption; and children’s public/private law court work services. In 2011, Mr Douglas was appointed as Assistant Director for Family Support and Safeguarding Children, including Public Health Nursing Services, in the Southern Health & Social Care Trust, and held this post until June 2021. Prior to his retirement he was chairperson of a number of groups: the Southern Area Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Partnership; the SBNI Children’s Domestic Violence and Abuse sub-group; the Health & Social Care Regional Emergency Social Work Service Operational Group; the Southern Area Multi-Agency Infant Mental Health Strategic Group; and the Southern Trust Family Nurse Partnership Advisory Board.
- Appointments to the Children’s Court Guardian Agency for Northern Ireland are made with the approval of the Department of Health.
- 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. The appointee has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.
- Following commencement of section 137 of the Adoption and Children Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 on 13 February 2023, a guardian ad litem is now known as a children’s court guardian. The former Northern Ireland Guardian ad Litem Agency has been renamed the Children’s Court Guardian Agency for Northern Ireland.
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