Social Welfare and Community Development

Share Everywhere


In 1943/1944 the post of secretary of Social Services was created by the colonial Administration to undertake the co-ordination of Social Welfare throughout the then Gold Coast. A year later, the nuclear of the Department was formed by the provision of Executive Staff for the secretary of Social Services, and then came the Department of Social Welfare and Housing.

In 1948, the Social Development branch of the department was established and an experiment in Community Development (called Mass Education) was started by means of a mobile team in Togoland. In August 1951, a plan for mass literacy and mass education was prepared by the Ministry of Education and Social Services. In 1952, the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development was established. In 1981, the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development was divided into department of Social Welfare and Department of Community Development.


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, person with disabilities and excluded into mainstream society.


A harmonious society in which the survival and development of the sexes, children, the vulnerable and persons with disability are guaranteed


  1. To achieve gender equality and equity;
  2. To facilitate the enforcement of the rights of children;
  3. To promote the integration and protection of the vulnerable excluded and persons with disability;


The objectives of the department are as follows:

  1. To develop targeted social interventions for vulnerable and marginalized groups;
  2. To provide community based rehabilitation programmes in all communities in the country for persons with disabilities;
  3. To provide professional social welfare services in the municipality to ensure that statutory responsibilities of the Department of Social Development are carried out in the field of Justice Administration, child rights promotion and protection and community care;
  4. To co-ordinate and regulate specialized residential services for children, the disabled and the under privileged youth;
  5. To create awareness on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, population issues and family planning in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Assembly and other agencies to promote community care strategies;

The Department has three (3) core programmes; child rights promotion and protection, justice administration and community care.


The functions of the department are to:

  1. Develop and coordinate community-based rehabilitation programme for persons with disabilities;
  2. Promote access to social welfare services for the disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded groups and individuals;
  3. Facilitate opportunities for NGOs to develop social services in collaboration with the communities.
  4. Carryout the department’s statutory functions in the field of children’s right promotion and prevention;
  5. Secure minimum standards of operation of day care centres through registration, training and regular inspection under children’s Act (560) of 1998.
  6. Provide homes for the homeless, orphaned and abandoned children and assisting in finding for persons and foster parents to care for children whose mothers are seriously ill, hospitalized, in severe state of depression, incarcerated in prisons;
  7. Create awareness on prevention and provide care and support to OVC and PLWHA in the municipality;
  8. Ensure income serucity among the disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded through the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme (LEAP);
  9. Facilitate the adoption of children;
  10. Promote social, economic and emotional stability in families



The department of community development has national responsibility of facilitating the enhancement of living standards both rural and urban communities in Ghana.


The department is to ensure that community development practices are voluntary and healthy interdependent that will be mutually be beneficial with the shared responsibility to enhance the standard of living of both rural and urban communities.


The department of community development exists to promote and ensure improvement to enhance the standard of living of both rural and disadvantaged section of the urban poor in their own initiatives and their active participation in a decentralized system of Administration through adult education.


Within the broad objective of seeking an improvement in the socio-economic well-being of rural and deprived urban communities, the department of community development pursues the following:

  1. To facilitate the dissemination of development related information to the people at the grassroots and relay back to government;
  2. To extend support services in awareness creation, community animation, mass mobilization and grassroots organization to sister development agencies;
  3. To transfer sustainable and employable skills to the youth such as catering services, dressmaking, home management etc.;
  4. To provide technical support and advice towards the construction of essential socio-economic infrastructure for needy communities through self-help and community initiative;
  5. To expose women to available opportunities.


  1. Provides community education and mobilization;
  2. Supports extension services to government and non-government organizations;
  3. Offers employable and sustainable skills for the youth;
  4. Assists communities to undertake self-help initiated development projects;
  5. Conducts mass education campaigns;
  6. Trains local artisans for community initiative projects;
  7. Trains change agents for rural development;
  8. Trains rural/vulnerable women in entrepreneurial and have management skills.