Department of Social Welfare

February 15, 2017 10:47 am

The Department of Social Welfare was a department under the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare. The enactment of Executive Instrument (E.I, 2013) re-aligned Ministries, Departments and Agencies in accordance with directives from the Office of the President to create harmony in the conduct of Government business.

As a result, the Department of Social Welfare became a department under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. Its name has been changed to Department of Social Development to reflect its mandate.


“A socially Developed Ghana where the disadvantaged, vulnerable persons with disabilities and excluded are integrated into mainstream development.”


The Department of Social Development works in partnership with people in their communities to improve their wellbeing through the promotion of social development with equity for the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, persons with disabilities and the excluded.


The functions of the Department are to:

  • Develop and coordinate community-based rehabilitation programme for persons with disabilities
  • Promote access to social welfare services for the disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded groups and individuals
  • Facilitate opportunities for NGOs to develop social services in collaboration with the communities
  • Carry out DSW statutory functions in the field of Children’s Right promotion and protection
  • Secure minimum standards of operation of Day Care centers through registration, training and regular inspection under Children’s Act (560) of 1998.
  • Provide homes for the homeless, orphaned and abandoned children, and assisting in finding fit persons and foster parents to care for children whose mothers are seriously ill, hospitalized, in severe state of depression, incarcerated in prisons.
  • Create awareness on prevention, and provide care and support to OVC and PLWHA in 138 districts.
  • Ensure income security among the disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded through the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty programme (LEAP).
  • Facilitate the adoption of children.
  • Promote social, economic and emotional stability in families.


The Department of Social Welfare, now Department of Social Development was established in 1946 with a mandate for both social welfare and housing. In 1950, its mandate changed, it was limited to only social welfare. The current mandate of the department is to take the lead in integrating the disadvantaged, vulnerable, persons with disabilities and excluded into mainstream society.
The mandate, role and functions of the Department of Social Development are guided by the following framework:

  • 1992 constitution of Ghana
  • Executive Instrument (2013)
  • Civil Service Act 600 (PNDC law 327)
  • Local Ordinance order No. 66
  • The Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462),
  • Local Government Service Act 2003 (Act 656), & L.I. 1961
  • Children’s Act 1998 (Act 560),
  • Juvenile Justice Act 2003 (Act 653),
  • Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715),
  • International Protocols and Conventions (UN Convention on Child Rights, Hague)
  • Convention on Inter-Country adoption


The broad policy objectives of the Department are as follows:

  • Develop targeted social interventions for vulnerable and marginalized groups.
  • To provide community based rehabilitation programmes in all communities in the country for persons with disabilities.
  • To provide professional social welfare services in all districts to ensure that statutory responsibilities of the Department of Social Development are carried out in the field of justice administration, child rights promotion protection and community care.