The Department of Social Welfare and Development is a Government statutory Agency under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP). The Department was first established in 1946 by Local Ordinance Order No. 66 as Department of Social Welfare and Housing and later as the Department of Social Welfare in 1950.
Against the back drop of decentralization and the operationalization of the Local Government Act (1993) (Act 462), Local Government Service Act 2003 and the LI 1961, all implementing functions and activities that are delivered to individuals and communities directly by the Department were ceded to the Local Government Service and to the districts in 2011.
However, certain National Strategic Services which are implementation in nature are still catered for at the Centre by the Department, i.e. the control and management of the National Social Welfare Training/ Specialized Institutes.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development is mandated to take the lead role in integrating the disadvantaged, vulnerable, persons with disabilities and the excluded into mainstream society.
The mandate of the Department are guided by the following legislative and regulatory frameworks:
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana
- Local Ordinance Order No. 66
- Executive Instrument (2017) (E.I. 28)
- Executive Instrument (2013) (E.I. 1)
- Civil Service Act (Amendment Act) 600
- Civil Service Act 1993 (PNDC Law 327)
- Children’s Act 1998 (Act 560)
- Children’s (Amendment) Act 937 of 2016
- Juvenile Justice Act 2003 (Act 653)
- Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462),
- Local Government Service Act 2003 (Act 656), & L.I. 1961
- Persons with Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715),
- Human Trafficking Act 2005, Act 694
- Domestic Violence Act (Act 732)
- International Protocols and Conventions (UN Convention on Child Rights, Hague Convention on Inter-Country adoption)
- Court Act 459, 1993
- Labor Act (651),
A socially developed Ghana
Department of Social Welfare and Development exists to promote policy guidelines, standards and programmes for the efficient and effective delivery of social development services to the vulnerable & excluded individuals, groups and communities in collaboration with other stakeholders through competent staff and modern technology.
The Division is responsible for the following functions:
- Responsible for the drafting policy guidelines and concept papers;
- Coordinates the development and implementation of Medium and Short-Term Plan, Annual Work and Financial Plan of the Department;
- Develops standards, guidelines and regulations to ensure effective and efficient delivery of social welfare and development interventions;
- Coordinates and facilitates compliance with standards, guideline and regulations within the delivery of social interventions;
- Initiates the preparation of research proposals, assessment of research proposals and conduct of research necessary for decision making, planning, policy inputting and legislative requirements;
- Formulates and monitors the implementation of the Department’s medium-term research agenda;
- Disseminates research findings and advocate for the implementation of the recommendation;
- Provide leadership in the enhancement and generation of social protection statistics.
- Monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of social welfare and development interventions, organizational performance, programmes and projects of the Department;
- Develop and Operationalize the Department monitoring & evaluation system; and
- Coordinates the development and implementation of the resource mobilization strategies of the Department.
The Units under the Division are as follows:
- Planning Unit:-The Unit coordinates the development of medium-term plans and policy guidelines.
- Resource Mobilization and Management Unit:-The Unit establishes, advocates and promotes effective collaboration and partnerships among relevant stakeholders to mobilize financial, physical and infrastructural resources to support plans, programmes and projects of the Department. It also coordinates and provides technical guidance for the development of budget of the Department.
- Research and Information Management Unit: The Unit initiates the preparation and assessment of research proposals; conducts and gathers analyzed data for the development of the Department’s policies, planned programmes and/or medium term strategic plans. The Unit also collates data to create a database and integrates new technologies into the operations of the Department. It maintains information technology network and infrastructure for the Department.
- Standards Development and Compliance Unit:-The Unit develops, disseminates and ensures compliance to international conventions, regulations, laws, rules, operating manuals, ethics and professional standards for the effective and efficient delivery of social welfare and development interventions.
- Monitoring and Evaluation Unit:-Monitors and evaluates DSWD’s programmes, projects, organizational performance; provide technical assistance on social intervention planning, reporting and coordination; and provide monitoring parameters/guidelines in the assessment the results of the program/performance review.
The Child and Family Welfare Division shall provide support system for the family and child welfare programmes.
- Design child and family welfare programmes and activities to effectively prevent and protect children from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation;
- Ensure effective coordination of the child and family welfare system at all levels;
- Empower children and families to better understand abusive situations and make choices to prevent and respond to situations of risk;
- Promote reform of existing laws and policies to conform with the Child and Family Welfare system;
- Monitor the activities of residential homes for the aged;
- Provide alternative care for children without parental care; and
- Ensure the registration and management of day-care Centres.
The Division comprises of the following Units:
- Child and Family Welfare Unit: The Unit develops and undertakes programmes to strategically strengthen positive features that reinforce family life. It also advocates for District Assemblies to establish fit persons and foster parent registers rather than constructing residential facilities for children in conflict with the law and orphanages.
- Residential Homes’ Management Unit: The Unit monitors and provides technical assistance to DSWD facilities rendering residential care and center-based services to children without parental care and the aged.
- Day care Centres’ Management: The Unit registers and monitors day-care centres for children between (0-3) years.
The Unit monitors and provides technical assistance on the requirements of referral, adoption and process of issuance of certification declaring a child as legally available for adoption, local adoption and foster care program in accordance with the existing laws and issuances.
The Programs Development Division (PDD) is primarily responsible for the development and piloting of strategic cross-sectoral programmes and projects on social welfare and development for poverty alleviation.
- Ensures the development and pilot of strategic social intervention programmes and projects for poverty alleviation;
- Provides institutionalize framework for the continuous and effective implementation of Social intervention programs and strategies;
- Develops institutional mechanisms in establishing and maintaining networks/ alliances at the national level to support the implementation of Social interventions, programs, projects and strategies;
- Provides recommendations on policy planning and programmes development, monitoring and evaluation; and
- Coordinates the implementation of sustainable livelihood programs and projects.
The Division consists of the under listed Units:
- Sustainable Livelihood Program Unit:- The Sustainable Livelihood Program Unit develops and pilots national oriented sustainable livelihood programs; reviews and enhances operational and policy guidelines on sustainable livelihood programs and projects; and leads the Department’s efforts in establishing linkages and networks for potential partners.
- Community-Based Development Programs Unit:-The Unit is responsible for the provision of technical assistance and resource augmentation for the vulnerable sectors. It also assesses the psychosocial patients and connects them to necessary resources.
- NGO Unit:-The Unit registers, licenses and assesses the operations of Non-governmental organisations and partners in the social development sector.
The Division shall be responsible for the provision of technical assistance and services to ensure the welfare of the vulnerable and marginalized groups.
Specifically, the Division shall:
- Ensures the District Assemblies comply with the laws ensuring justice for juveniles;
- Advocates legislative agenda relative to the social welfare and development of juvenile;
- Assists the court in cases involving juveniles and provide prisons aftercare; and
- Provides correctional measures and remands reformation for juvenile offenders.
The Units under the Division are:
- Probation Unit: The Unit develops and reviews written guidelines and rules for intake dispositional decisions, procedures and legal sufficiency of complaint. It also ensures the availability and utilization of investigative services.
- Correctional Unit: The Unit coordinates the operation of residential facilities and reformative for children in contact with the law.
- Aftercare and Community Service Unit: The Unit provides post care services for juvenile offenders and adult prisoners.