Council Members

NISCC is a non-departmental public body (NDPB). The NISCC Chair is directly accountable to the Minister for Health. The Council is made up of a Chair and 12 non-executive members. The members represent a wide range of interests in the field of social care.

Council Membership is split equally between:

  • Lay members - people who have direct experience as users of services, carers or voluntary workers
  • Stakeholder members - people involved in service delivery/commissioning, trade unions, education/training, professional bodies, or allied professions
  • Registrant members - people who are employed as social care workers

Council meetings are held at least four times a year. Information about meetings and copies of approved minutes are available in the ‘How We Make Decisions; section>>>.

NISCC Council Members

Chair - Mr Paul Martin -  Lay Council Member

NISCC Chair - James Perry

Mr 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 Christine Hunter - Registrant Council Member

Joe Blake - Council MemberMrs 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.

Mr Neil Bodger - Lay Council Member

Neil Bodger - Council MemberMr Bodger has been involved in managerial and company finance at Senior Manager or Director Level for over 30 years and was a Senior Management Consultant in corporate financial reconstruction and subsequently board Director of a German manufacturing company. He has worked as a Chair of Audit and Risk Management Committees in the public sector for 22 years and has been a Panel Member of the Education Authority Appeals Tribunal for 19 years. He has experience in Corporate Governance, Finance, Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Marketing and Public Relations. Neil is currently a Governor of South Eastern Regional College and member of the Probation Board Northern Ireland and Chair of its Audit Committee

Mr David Hayes - Registrant Council Member

Geraldine Campbell - Council MemberMr 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.

Ms Sarah Browne - Stakeholder Council Member

Julie Erskine - Council Member

Mrs Browne has worked in the Health and Social Care Sector for 38 years until her retirement in December 2016. She worked for almost 30 years managing Older Peoples Services and was responsible for the planning, comissioning and delivery of services.     

Prior to retirement she had a lead role in Adult Safeguarding Services and she has maintained this interest as she now sits on the Action on Elder Abuse NI 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 Roslyn Dougherty - Stakeholder Council Member

Ruth Lavery - Council Member

Mrs 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.

Mrs Jacqueline McGarvey - Registrant Council Member

Maire McMahon - Council MemberMrs 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.

Ms Catherine McPhillips - Registrant Council Member

Catherine McPhillips - Council MemberMs McPhillips chairs the NISCC Professional in Practice (PiP) Partnership Committee. Catherine is a qualified social worker and has worked in the profession for over 30 years. She has had extensive experience in a range of professional and managerial posts up to her retirement from her post as Head of Primary Mental Health Care for the Southern Health & Social Care Trust in October 2012. Catherine has played a key role towards the development of social work expertise in Mental Health Services. She was an Approved Social Worker and was involved in the training and development of Approved Social Work candidates. Catherine is a voluntary member of the Cruse Bereavement Southern Area Management Committee.

Ms Brenda Maitland(BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Hons)) - Lay Council Member

Brenda Maitland - Council MemberMs Maitland worked for BT Northern Ireland for over 25 years in various roles, most latterly as senior HR Business Partner.She is a Board Member of The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. She is also member of Saintfield Community Association and is a school govenor. Brenda has previously held a number of appointments including a Board Member of Ulster Supported Employment Ltd (USEL) an organisation set up to provide employment for severly disabled people. She has also has held appointments as Vice Chair of the Labour Relations Agency, Lay member of the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), Chair of the NMC Appointments Board, Board Member of the Health & Safety Executive NI and Honorary Secretary for War on Want. 

Ms Anne O'Reilly (OBE) - Stakeholder Council Member

Anne O'Reilly - Council MemberMs O'Reilly has over 25 years experience in the voluntary and community sector. Anne worked in the age sector for over 20 years both as CEO of Age Concern and AgeNI, managing a range of care services and community based programmes for older people throughout that period. She also has extensive experience in the women’s sector; as Chair of NIRWN (NI Rural Womens Network), Vice Chair of WRDA (Women’s Resource and Development Agency), and as a board member of the Rural Community Network. She is also active in CO3 an organisation to develop third sector leadership; is a member of the voluntary and community sector Joint Forum working to develop stronger working relationships between government and the sector. She works currently for Women’s Aid Federation NI; she is supporting the development of a new organisation Connect With Care to develop a number of Retirement Villages across NI to offer more choice and options for people planning ahead for retirement and into later life. Anne is also a short term professional foster carer with Barnardos.

Ms Noelle Barton- Stakeholder Council Member

Trevor Spratt - Council MemberMs 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.

Mr Lee Wilson (BA MA PgDip) - Lay Council Member

Lee Wilson - Council MemberMr Wilson has over 20 years experience as a Senior Manager in Health Service Finance. He is currently a Non-Executive Member of the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency where he Chairs its Governance and Risk Committee. He is also a former member of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. Lee holds an MA in Administration and Law and a PG Diploma in Social and Community Development. 



 Mr Gerard Guckian - Non Executive Council Member 

Mr Gerard Guckian - Non Executive Council Member

Mr Guckian is a partner in a firm of solicitors in Derry/Londonderry, having qualified in 1985. As a member of the Children’s Order Panel of the Law Society of Northern Ireland since its inception, Mr Guckian has represented children in public law proceedings for over 20 years. He is a former Chairman of Altnagelvin Hospital Health and Social Services Trust (2004-2006) and former Chairman of the Western Health and Social Care Trust (2006-2016). Within those roles he chaired the Trusts’ Governance and Remuneration and Terms of Service Committees. Having served as a Non-Executive Director before those appointments, Mr Guckian has a lengthy experience of leadership in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. He served on the representatives group of the Northern Ireland Confederation of Health and Social Care for 11 years, chairing that organisation for two terms. He is a Trustee of Foyle Hospice.



Appointment of Council Members

Council Members are appointed by the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. If you are interested in serving on the Board of a public body and are unsure how to go about it the office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister has published an information booklet entitled 'Make Your Mark - A Guide to Public Appointments in Northern Ireland'. This guide explains the different types of public bodies currently in existence and how the appointments process works in practice. Details are available from or telephone the Central Appointments Unit on: 028 9052 8193.

Council Business Schedule 



Associated Resources