Marie Roulston spent more than 35 years working in children’s social care services in Northern Ireland, having qualified as a professional social worker in 1984.She began her career working with children with a disability and moved to Family and Child care Services in 1986, where she remained until 2015. She spent the majority of her career working for the Northern HSC Trust and its predecessor bodies. She has held managerial roles in family placement, safeguarding, family support and early-years services.
In 2015, Ms Roulston took up the post of Director of Women Children and Families and Executive Director of Social Work in the Northern HSC Trust. In that role, she worked with the Department to develop the Principal Social Work Practitioner role in Northern Ireland and was chair of the ‘Raising the profile of social work in Northern Ireland’. In her role of Director of Children’s Services, she also represented the Northern HSC Trust on the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland.
In 2018, Ms Roulston took up the Director of Social Care and Children in the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), where she led the regional Children’s Services Improvement Board (CSIB). As chair of CSIB, she initiated and led a regional review of children’s residential care and the development of a regional fostering service. As Director of the HSCB, she also oversaw a number of service improvement initiatives, including in Looked-after Children Services, Services for Children with a Disability and was instrumental in the development of a new service model for Separated / Unaccompanied Asylum-seeking Children and Young People.
Ms Roulston represented Health and Social Care Services on the Shadow Family justice Board, established following the Gillen Review of Civil and Family Justice in Northern Ireland. In 2018, Ms Roulston was awarded an OBE for services to children and families. She retired in March 2021 and is currently an associate consultant with the HSC Leadership Centre.