The Department of Social Development strives to enhance the quality of life of all people in the Free State by rendering developmental social services in the following key areas;

Substance Abuse, Prevention and Rehabilitation

The design and implementation of integrated services for substance abuse, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

Care and Services to Older Persons

The design and implementation of integrated services for the care, support and protection of older persons through establishment and support of community-based care and support centers.

Government residential care facilities

  • Boiketlong Old Age Home – Thaba Nchu
  • Thekolohelong Old Age Home – Phuthaditjhaba

Crime Prevention and Support

Develop and implement social crime prevention programmes and provide probation services targeting children, youth and adult offenders and victims in the criminal justice process. Programmes are also implemented by non-profit organisations such as FAMSA and Free State Care in Action.The Department is also responsible for the development of a responsive Secure Care Centre Model through the implementation of the Diversion Regulatory Framework and Accreditation System. The national blue print for Secure Care Centres has been approved by the national Department and is in the process of being cascaded through Ministerial Briefings at MECs and HOD levels.

It intends that all Secure Care Centres should be standardized to include a wing that will constitute a reform school as well as to accommodate divertees in the Secure Centres.The Thabo Mofutsanyana Secure Care Centre is to house 60 children as a complementary institution to Matete Matches in Kroonstad which houses 40 children and Bloem Secure Care which houses 50 children.  The bulk of other Crime Prevention Services are based at the One Stop Child Justice Centre and the non-governmental organisation sector such as NICRO.

Government secure care centers

  • Bloem Secure Care Centre – Bloemfontein
  • Matete Matches – Kroonstad

Services to Persons with Disabilities

Design and implement integrated programmes and provide services that facilitate the promotion of the well-being and the socio economic empowerment of persons with disabilities.

Child Care and Protection Services

In terms of the Children’s Act, it is the responsibility of the Department to design and implement integrated programmes and services that provide for the development, care and protection of the rights of children.  We are further bound by the Outcomes Based planning with Education as the number one priority.

Our programmes are geared towards ensuring that we render services towards:

  • Increased coverage and registration of ECD and partial care programmes and facilities
  • Increased number and trained ECD practitioners
  • Increased number of children subsidised.
  • Standardized funding model for ECD

The meeting of these milestones will ensure that a protection regime is extended to all children of our province.  It must be borne in mind that this is inclusive of the grants systems (Child Support and Foster Care Grants) which ensure that the Social Protection System benefits children.

Victim Empowerment

The Department is entrusted with ensuring the design and implementation of integrated programmes and services to support, care and empower victims of violence and crime, in particular women and children.  In this regard, Social development contributes directly and authoritatively to the Outcome 3: All People in South Africa Are and Feel Safe. Our mandate is to ensure that:

  • Integrated VEP plan is implemented;
  • Prevention programmes on gender based violence are implemented;
  • Shelters for victims of gender based violence are established;
  • Reduced risk of sexual and physical violence against women (gender based violence); and
  • Men and boys are engaged in prevention of gender based violence.

The Department has established nine (9) shelters for victims of crime and violence, namely;


The design and implementation of integrated community based care programmes and services aimed at mitigating the social and economic impact of HIV and AIDS.

Social Relief of Distress

Social relief of distress is a temporary provision of assistance intended for persons in such dire material need that they are unable to meet their or their families’ most basic needs. This is the only grant administered by the Free State Department of Social Development.

Care and Support Services to Families

At the core, our specialised social work services is the rendering of family reconstructive services wherein our Social Workers deal with the specific psycho-social needs of individuals whilst paying attention to the broader issues that may be affecting this individual in the context of a family and society broadly.The Department always insists that our Social Service Professionals should look at society in general and not focus on their specialized services. Everybody is a Social Service Professional in Social Development.For instance, our Communications Services will go out to verify the impact of services that we render, Internal Audit will check on the authenticity of services that we claim to render whilst Monitoring and Evaluation and Batho Pele Coordinator will look at whether the services that we render truly meet the wishes of the people they are meant for.

The family is the nucleus of any society. In our context the concept of the family is elastic and variable as it will consist of the nuclear, the extended, child-headed and informal settings such as those found in the notion of “Children Living and Working on the Streets”.As Social Service Professionals we aim to provide reconstruction, palliative and rehabilitation services by focusing on what best suits the needs of people that are our clients without causing major disruptions to their way of life within the confines of what is justified in the law and morally acceptable.Our non-profit organisations do a lot of work on the family reconstruction front. The impact of their work is yet to be measured by the right tools as our people are still averse to coming out with their individual family crisis until the highest stage of crisis.Then our shelters for domestic violence do interventions and the Tshepong Victim Empowerment Centre and Elizabeth Ross end up having to facilitate family reconstruction services or constructive resolution of family breakdowns.

Youth Development

The purpose is to coordinate and implement integrated social development policies and strategies that facilitate the empowerment and development of the youth. This is achieved through, amongst others;

Linking of youth with economic and employment opportunities

Youth are linked with various opportunities such as the IT, sewing, advertising learnerships in the Municipalities and the Department of the Premier and the National Youth Service Programme implemented by the National Youth Development Agency.

National Youth Service

The Department of Social Development partnered with the Department of Health to identify 500 young persons from the poorest towns in the Free State for enrolment into the NYS programme. These young people receive training and stipends whilst their capacity is being built on specific areas of professional excellence as Child and Youth Care Work at NQF Level 4 with the main focus on the following areas of service delivery:

  • Substance Abuse;
  • Youth in conflict with the Law;
  • Community Home Based Care for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children; and
  • Early Childhood Development facilitation

Community Outreach Programmes

The Department was able to implement Community Outreach Programme which targeted the youth. The programme included disseminating information to the young people on the services rendered by the Department for Youth Development, initiating income-generating projects targeting the youth, establishment of youth representative structures such as the Youth Forums and providing training to the youth such as the training on National Credit Act.

Sustainable Livelihood

Design and implement integrated development programmes that facilitate empowerment of communities towards sustainable livelihood. Initiatives include the establishment and support of social cooperatives, backyard gardens and other poverty reduction programmes.

Institutional Capacity Development and Advocacy

The purpose is to facilitate the development of institutional capacity for Non-Profit Organizations and other emerging organizations.

Research and Demography

To facilitate, conduct and manage population development and social development research, in support of policy and programme development, both for the implementation of the National Population Policy and other programmes of the Department of Social Development.

Population Capacity Development and Advocacy

To advocate, design and implement capacity building programmes within all spheres of government and civil society the social development sector and other government departments in order to integrate population development policies and trends into the planning of services.