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Our Board

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (Social Care Council) is a non-departmental public body (NDPB). The Board's Chair is directly accountable to the Minister of Health. The Board 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.

Board 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.

Board Meetings

Board meetings are usually held in Millennium House, with at least one meeting a year held at locations outside Belfast. Sessions are open to the public. Dates of Board meetings are listed below. Copies of approved minutes of recent Board meetings are available to download form the resource section at the bottom of the page.

Agendas and papers for Board meetings will be published on the website one week before the meeting is due to take place.  Minutes from Board meetings will be published on the website one week after they are approved by the Board. If you require access to previous Board papers email:

Board meetings are held at least four times a year and are open to the public – if you would like to attend a meeting email:

The next Social Care Council Board meeting will be held on Wednesday 19 June 2024.

Council Suites

4th Floor, James House, 2 Cromac Avenue, Belfast, BT7 2JA

The meeting will commence at 2.00pm and will be a public meeting. The Social Care Council welcomes members of the public at its meetings.

If you would like to attend the Board meeting please contact the Chief Executive’s Office by 4pm on Friday 14 June 2024. Email request to or telephone 028 9536 2952 for further information.

Click here for the Guidelines for Members of the Public Attending Social Care Council (NISCC) Board Meetings

Meeting dates:

Wednesday 19 June 20242:00pmNorthern Ireland Social Care Council, James House Click here for meeting agenda

Northern Ireland Social Care Council Board Members

Paul Martin 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 Social Care Council 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.

Gerard 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.

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 where in contributes to social work education at both qualifying and post-qualifying levels.
David completed his PhD in 2008 and his research interests are focused on service users experiences of the child protection and criminal justice systems, the involvement of family members in child protection and child welfare processes, and the practice and experiences of professionals who operate the child protection system. He is a member of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and Chair of the Northern Ireland branch of the Association of Child Protection Professionals (formerly known as BASPCAN). 

Sarah 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, commissioning 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.

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.

Jaquelline 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.

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