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The idea to form the Social Welfare Council was first conceived in 1952 and 2 years later in 1954 the Council was established under the Chairmanship of the Commissioner of Labour and Welfare to assist voluntary welfare work. Then in 1965, two years after the formation of Malaysia, the Sabah Council of Social Welfare, together with the Sarawak Social Welfare Council and The Malayan Social Welfare Council became the constituent partners of The National Council of Social Welfare, Malaysia.

This Sabah Council of Social Welfare had lived for 14 years until 9th May 1968 when it was reconstituted and renamed as Sabah Council of Social Services under cabinet paper no. 145/1967. It was felt then the reconstitution of the council was necessary because of the need to have a stronger and dynamic council to cope with the increasing demand of social welfare needs and to co-ordinate the work of the voluntary sector.

Within the last three decades the council has to assume the roles of employer, own and manage welfare institutions and most importantly to establish its own entity, which was not embodied in its original terms of reference. As such the Sabah Council of Social Services Enactment 1997 was passed by the Sate Assembly and enforced on 1st March 1998. Among others the Enactment establishes the Sabah Council of Social Services a statutory body with powers and functions consistent with contemporary social welfare needs.

Objectives of the Council

Under the Sabah Council of Social Services Enactment 1997 the objectives of the Council are as follows:-

  1. to co-ordinate voluntary welfare activities in the State not only as between member organizations of the Council but also with other similar organizations;
  2. to maintain and improve standards of voluntary social works and to encourage voluntary welfare efforts in fields not fully covered by the State Government;
  3. to assist member organizations by contributions or otherwise to promote voluntary welfare activities in the State;
  4. to initiate, assist and organize such forms of relief and schemes of social services as may be deemed desirable by the Council;
  5. to raise, receive, administer and distribute such funds and goods in kind as are entrusted to the council;
  6. to disseminate information to, and to interest in all possible ways, the members of the public in social welfare matters and to encourage participation therein;
  7. to make recommendations to the State Government as the Council thinks fit on matters pertaining to legislation in the field of social welfare of for the furtherance of the objects of the Council; and
  8. to establish and manage a Headquarters for the Council, social service centers and welfare institutions in the State
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