The department’s main focus is to help alleviate the suffering endured by vulnerable children, individuals and families through provision of social work.


  1. Probation and After Care

This aims at preventing crime and rehabilitating young offenders to lead productive and peaceful lives. The core activities include services in reformatory centres, child justice, prison social work and resettlement of released juveniles.


  • The programme covers the whole country. Institutional rehabilitation is done at Mpemba and Chilwa Reformatory Centres; handling an average of 40 and 60 child offenders respectively.
  • At full capacity, Mpemba, Chilwa and Lilongwe Social Rehabilitation Centres can accommodate 150, 120 and 50 children respectively.
  • The ministry has two child justice courts in the country thus, Blantyre and Lilongwe courts.
  • Matters in child justice court are held in camera thereby not allowing general public to attend. This protects the child’s confidentiality and personal dignity where they are either the victim or culprit.
  1. Family and Child Welfare

The programme aims at preventing family disruption and strengthening community capacities for the care and protection of the deprived and under privileged vulnerable groups within the society. Core activities include family and child counselling & support; child maintenance; alternative care placement; divorce and Gender Based Violence mitigation; property dispossession settlement; child custody & guardianship; and Psychosocial support to those in need.


  • The programme has a country-wide coverage.
  • For child custody disputes, headquarters handles an average of 3 cases; 3 cases for foster care and at least 3 adoption cases per month.
  • Districts handle more child custody cases including supervision of child care institutions.
  1. HIV and AIDS Impact Mitigation

The department in partnership with other stakeholders engages in impact mitigation interventions to reduce the social impact of the epidemic on affected children and families. The interventions include support to Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children (OVCs); Psychosocial Support; Case management; and Education Support


The program covers country-wide.

  1. Institutional Social Work

This involves attachment of social welfare officers to other government institutions such as hospitals, schools, prisons, state residences and foreign missions to assist those experiencing social problems.


Currently all prisons in all the districts are visited by Social Welfare officers.

Almost all district hospitals have One stop Centers located at the district hospital and social workers are available to provide services.

  1. NGO Coordination

The Department works and will continue to closely work with civil society organisations such as NGOs, FBOs, and CBOs. The Department facilitates the registration of NGO by recommending to the NGO Board the NGOs that have met the minimum standards for registration.

Coverage: Country-wide through Headquarters in Lilongwe, all District social welfare offices and child protection workers at community level.

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