About the Ministry of Social Services & Urban Development

Areas of Responsibility

The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development has oversight for the following areas:

  • Child Protection
  • Community Affairs
  • Counseling – Individual, Family and Group
  • Disaster Management
  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Affairs
  • Gender-Based Violence
  • Health and Wellness Services and Advocacy
  • Human Trafficking
  • Juvenile Correctional Facilities for Boys and Girls
  • Marginalized and Special People Groups
  • Men and Boys Issues
  • National Hotline for 24 hours Crisis Intervention
    New Providence

    Tel. (242) 322-2763
    Tel. (242) 422-2763
    Tel. (242) 351-7763
  • National Parenting Programme
  • Public Financial Assistance
  • Rehabilitative Services for Probationers, Parolees and Inmates
  • Research and Planning
  • Residential Care Facilities for Children and Older Persons
  • Safe House for refugee females with minor children
  • School Welfare
  • Services and Advocacy for Older Persons
  • Services and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
  • Urban Development
  • Women and Girls Issues

Department and Sections

The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development comprises the following departments and sections:

  1. Department of Gender and Family Affairs
  2. Department of Rehabilitative/Welfare Services (DRWS)
  3. Department of Social Services (DOSS)
  4. Urban Renewal Commission and Urban Renewal Centres
  5. Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development Affiliates
    • Community Affairs Unit
    • Facility and Fleet Management Unit
    • Residential Care Establishments Licensing Authority
    • Secretariat to the Commission for Persons with Disabilities

Key Functions and Responsibilities

Department of Rehabilitative/ Welfare Services (DRWS)

The Department of Rebailitative/Welfare Services, under the purview of the Director of the Department of Social Services, provides probation and complementary rehabilitative programmes for the deterrence of offenders. The Department consists of the following areas:-

  • Probation Adult Unit provides the Supreme and Magistrates Courts with pre-sentence reports for adults.
  • Probation Juvenile And After Care Unit provides supervision and counselling of juvenile probationers;
  • Simpson Penn Centre For Boys and Willie Mae Pratt Centre For Girls are correctional and residential facilities that ensure that the conditions and terms of the Court’s decisions are satisfied, as well as provides for the proper care and supervision of the residents.
  • Welfare Unit at The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDOCS) assists in promoting the general objectives of the Prisons, with emphasis on the rehabilitation of inmates.
  • Parole Unit maintains frequent contact with the parolee, and uses the resources of agencies and the community as a bridge to help parolees achieve self-efficacy and a level of normalcy in the community.
  • National Parenting Programme (NPP) facilitates workshops and provides counselling to assist parents in examining and sharpening their parenting and communication skills, so that they can work more effectively with their families and members of the community.

Address and Contact Information:

Department of Rehabilitative/Welfare Services (DRWS) Head Office (temporary location)

Aventura Plaza,
JFK Drive and Bethel Avenue
Nassau, New Providence
The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 397-8600
Fax. (242) 325-0134
Office Hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Department of Social Services (DOSS)

Children and Family Services Division

The Children and Family Services Division seeks to ensure that all children in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas have a physically safe environment, with emotional support and security necessary for healthy growth and development. The Division consists of seven (7) units:

  • Child Protection Unit seeks to deliver comprehensive services that will ensure the total well-being of all children by providing child safety assessments and crisis intervention.
  • Child Care Facilities Unit seeks to ensure that children who are taken into the care of the Minister as a result of being abused, abandoned, neglected or orphaned are cared for in a safe, secure, and nurturing environment.
  • School Welfare Unit seeks to promote the general welfare of the Bahamian student, and fosters a closer relationship between the school, home and the community.
  • Child Placement Unit provides permanent placement, whether through fostering or adoption, of children who have been removed from their natural parents.
  • Domestic Violence and Counseling Unit provides support services to survivors of domestic violence, and also offers group counseling for couples, family, individuals and groups of people who are experiencing social, personal and interpersonal challenges.
  • Family Services Unit provides services to the Domestic and Supreme Courts by furnishing reports which assist in decision-making in the best interest of children and families.
  • Trafficking In Persons (TIPs) Unit works in tandem with the Ministry of National Security to complement TIPs initiatives by providing welfare and counseling services to trafficked victims.

Community Support Services Division ensures that indigent people in the community have access to necessities such as food, clothing and shelter through public financial assistance.


Deportees Unit provides Bahamian citizens who have been deported from the United States of America with assistance, and maintains ongoing follow-ups with each resident to ensure that they have adjusted to their new environments.


Disability Affairs Division provides support and services to persons with disabilities to enhance their quality of life and empower them to take full advantage of opportunities to become independent, full participants in all aspects of society. The Division in partnership with the Commission for Persons with Disabilities raises awareness about the abilities, concerns, and needs of persons with disabilities.


Disaster Management Unit is responsible for shelters and shelter management within the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The Unit partners with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for national disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts during natural and man-made crises/disasters in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.


Family Islands Division coordinates and implements social services programmes throughout the Central and Southern Family Islands within the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.


Grand Bahama Office, Department of Social Services coordinates Social Services in the Northern Bahamas, including the Abacos and Bimini; and has responsibility for managing Columbus House for Boys and Columbus House for Girls – group homes for youths, and the Grand Bahama Children’s Home – a group home for children.


Health Social Services Division at Princess Margaret Hospital (HSS/PMH) provides a comprehensive network of psychosocial health care, providing physical, psychological, and social care and support for the recovery and rehabilitation of patients at PMH and their families.


Health Social Services Division at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre (HSS/SRC) provides a comprehensive network of psychosocial health care, providing physical, psychological, and social care and support for the recovery and rehabilitation of patients at SRC and their families.


Research And Planning Division facilitates the dissemination of information on the Department of Social Services; and plans and proposes best practices for the Department to remain on the cutting-edge in the 21st century.


Senior Citizens Division seeks to ensure the safety and well-being of older persons in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.


DOSS Component of Urban Renewal provides an integral part of the multifaceted approach to problem solving, in partnership with the Urban Renewal Commission, the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Department of Environmental Health, to coordinate efforts to address prevalent social ills, deviant behaviors and environmental issues.


Address and Contact Information:
Department of Social Services (DOSS) Head Office

Building A, Sunshine Plaza, Baillou Hill Road
Nassau, New Providence,
The Bahamas
Tel. (242) 604-4200/1 
Office Hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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