A social protection system that promotes a decent standard of living for all people in Zimbabwe.


To reduce poverty and enhance self-reliance through the provision of social protection services to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in Zimbabwe.

Structure of the Social Services Department:

The Department of Social Services is headed by a Director and has three programming divisions which are:

  1. Family Social Protection services
  2. Rehabilitation and PVO Administration
  3. Policy and projects

All these sections are headed by a Deputy Director.


The Department of social services is mandated to administer the following acts and policies

  • Social Welfare Assistance Act (Chapter 17:06)
  • Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 17:01)
  • Private Voluntary Organizations Act (Chapter 17:05)
  • Refugees Act (Chapter 4:03)
  • National Heroes Act
  • National Policy on Drought Management
  • Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy
  • BEAM Manual


a) Family Social Protection services

  • Investigating and assessing cases of public assistance
  • Paying fees and grants to institutions
  • Rehabilitating delinquents
  • Promoting rights of vulnerable groups by conducting awareness campaigns

b) Rehabilitation and PVO administration

  • Registration of private voluntary organizations
  • Registration and counseling of refugees
  • Paying maintenance allowances to refugees
  • Repatriating foreign national whenever conditions are conducive
  • Processing applications for registration of welfare organizations

c) Policy and Projects

  • Undertakes poverty assessments to establish depth and distribution of national poverty
  • Coordinates the design and formulation of social policy on a continuous basis
  • Recommends adoption of policies in the social services department
  • Monitors overall performance of special programmes housed in the department
  • Sets and reviews standards and guidelines for the delivery of social protection
  • Administers drought relief assistance

Major programmes:

  • Harmonised Social Cash Transfers
  • Food Deficit Mitigation
  • Public Assistance
  • Health Assistance (AMTO)

Stakeholders and clients

a)  External:

  • Older Persons,
  • Destitute Family/Persons,
  • Families in distress
  • Old People's Homes, Persons with Disabilities
  • Disabled people's organizations
  • Food Insecure households
  • Returnees
  • Line ministries dealing with social issues,
  • UN Agencies
  • Local Private Voluntary Organizations International PVOs ZIMRA
  • Individual Donors
  • Local Authorities