About the Social Welfare Department in Nigeria

About the Social Welfare Department in Nigeria

Social Welfare is a component of the Social Development Directorate established under Decree 12 of 1974 alongside other components such as Community Development Women Development, Sports Development and Youth Development (Now Ministry of Youth Development). However, Social Welfare Department came into being in 1989 with the creation then of Federal Ministry of Culture and Social Welfare.

“The Vision is to create a caring and integrated system of Social Services and capacity building that facilitate human development and promotes individual’s wellbeing”.

“The Mission is to ensure the provision of integrated and quality Social Services such as relief of distress – material and financial support for the poor, vulnerable, needy and provision of enabling environment for social progress”.


  • The Social Welfare Department through the Social Development Act No.12 of 1974 and the Social Development Policy for Nigeria (1989) is charged with the following functions:
  • Coordination of Inter-governmental and Inter-State Social Welfare activities;
  • Conduct of research and surveys in various aspects of Social Welfare;
  • Training of professional social workers and the organization and coordination of training facilities for government and non-governmental social welfare agencies;
  • International Casework and adoption enquiries;
  • Promote legislation on issues affecting Social Welfare in Nigeria
  • Conduct research on International matters affecting Social Welfare
  • Relate with Social Welfare organizations at National and International levels.
  • Crime prevention and reduction of social vices
  • Care and support of all vulnerable groups ( Destitute, the indigent, the sick and their families)\
  • Provide probation and Counselling services
  • Family conflict resolution management
  • Care and support for Persons Living With Aids (PLWA)
  • Participation in National, Regional and International conferences and seminars on Social Welfare matters
  • Responsible for coordinating National, Regional and International relations on Social Welfare matters. This includes regularly attending Conferences and meetings of the Sessions of the UN Commission for Social Development, The World Family Organisation, African Union Labour and Social Affairs Commission and follow-up to international meetings on the World summit for Social Development, among others.


In order to pursue the afore-stated vision, mission and actualization of mandate of the Social Welfare sub sector, the Department is structured into three Divisions, headed by Deputy Directors who report to the Director and there are Branches and Units manned by Assistant Directors and Chief Social Development Officer respectively. The Divisions in the Department are General Welfare Services, Social Protection Services and Federal School of Social Work.

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