The Department of Social Services was established in 1948. The Department of Social Services maintained a special social service unit at the Government Agent Office (Kachcheri) Complex, the District Administrative Unit of Sri Lanka, with the objective of facilitating the welfare of the beneficiary people.
With the introduction of the Provincial Council system after the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1987, with the centralization of power in the Administrative Districts based on the Provincial Council, the Social Services Division of the Kachcheri Complex at Dam Street, Colombo Western Province was established in 1989 as the Department of Social Services of the Western Province.
Mrs. Pramila Withana was the Inaugural Director of the Provincial Department of Social Services. During this period the staff consisted of ten persons, including one social service officer.
With the commencement of the Provincial Council system, the Provincial Social Services Department was empowered to implement the welfare activities which had been implemented by the Social Services line Department up to that time under the control of the Provincial Council.
Accordingly, the provision of public assistance, casual assistance, maintenance assistance for the disabled and elderly care homes, fitness assistance, disability equipment (crutches, wheelchairs, bicycles, hearing aids, spectacles etc.) issued under the approval of the Provincial Department of Social Services under the Provincial Social Services Department Expenditure Heads has begun.
After Mrs. Pramila Withana, Mrs. Daya Peiris has been appointed as the Director of the Western Provincial Department of Social Services.
Thereafter Mrs. S.K. Weeratunga was appointed as the Director of the Western Provincial Department of Social Services. She performed her duties at the office of the Department of Social Services, Western Province, located near the Wellawatte Textile Mill (opposite the Bodhi Roundabout). During this period the staff of the department was 15. 15 social service officers were recruited.
G.S.K Kannangara was the Director of the Western Provincial Department of Social Services from 02.02.1997 to 04.03.2001. During his tenure, in May 1999, the office of the Department of Social Services in front of the Bodhi Roundabout near the Wellawatte Cloth Mill was moved to the Siesta Building, Bambalapitiya. More than 20 Institutional Social Service Officers were recruited to the Western Provincial Department of Social Services. (As a graduate trainee) It was during this period in May 1999 that the Western Provincial Department of Social Services was set aside as a division of the Ministry of Social Services in the Western Province and separate accounting activities were started. Around the same time, the department’s office was moved to the Takashi Building in Nawala, Narahenpita.
With the assistance of Mr. GSK Kannangara, Director of Social Services, Western Province and Mrs. Priyani Susanthara, Social Services Officer, it is a special duty to establish the Government of Bellanthara Special Disabled Girls’ Home. Suwasakthi Matha Program for Widowed Mothers was launched with the sponsorship of Hon. Minister Virantha Fernando.
Mr. G A Gnanaweera has been appointed as the Fifth Director of the Western Provincial Department of Social Services.
After Mr. G.A. Gnanaweera, Mrs. PA Jayantha became the Director of the Western Provincial Department of Social Services.
During her tenure, the office of the Department of Social Services of the Western Province was moved to the office of the western Council Secretariat at Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Battaramulla. Compilation of Social Service Charters, Conducting an Open Competitive Examination for the Recruitment of Superintendents for Government Tropical Home, Government Specialized Child Rehabilitation Center, Government Elderly Home, Government Specialized Child (Men) Rehabilitation Center. It was at that time that the Social Service Officers were confirmed in writing as Staff Officers and notified to the Divisional Secretariats.
Hon. Minister of Provincial Social Services Mahesh Almeida and Mrs. Malsiri J Senevirahna Secretary to the Ministry and DR Subhasinghe, Hon. Secretary of the Provincial Public Service Commission were present for this purpose.
Performing services of the Department of Social Services to the people displaced by the floods in the Kalutara District; Special assistance of the Western Provincial Department of Social Services for the 2004 Tsunami Disaster, Special assistance and assistance for special surgeries was carried out by the Western Provincial Department of Social Services under the special attention of the Hon. Minister of Social Services, Western Province, Prasanna Ranatunga.
Since September 2007, Dr. Gamini Kariyawasam has been appointed as the Director of the Western Provincial Department of Social Services. During his tenure, he created the elders anthem and the elders’ flag, giving priority to artistic. He also authored books such as Nirithabimani and Suwanda Padma. After retiring from the post of Director for about 2 years, Mr. S. Atapattu, who was the Assistant Director of Social Services at that time, became the Acting Director.
Thereafter on 01.02.2010 Mrs. Krishanthi Kariyawasam held the post of Director for several months.
Subsequently, Mrs. Anusha Gokula Fernando was appointed as the Director on 23.06.2010 and the Department of Social Services was established at 229 Depanama, Pannipitiya from 09.03.2011. Social Care Week and other projects such as Suwa Sevana, Athahitha, Asarana Sarana, Widow Diriya Matha, Du Puthu Ma Piya Sarana, Randa Bindu, Ape Soduru Puvula for the development of the country with the participation of the community During her tenure, programs such as the Special Needs Sports Festival, the Cultural Festival and the Elderly Cultural Competition for Elderly Days were launched.
Approving and recruiting for the post of Accountant, recruiting Development Assistants / Graduate Trainees and assigning them to Divisional Secretariats, providing motorcycles to social service officers, surveys, research, social dialogue, Api Magazine, Media Magazine, Websites, Email, Facebook , Improving the use of new technological methods, retrieving personal files of social service officers from Divisional Secretariats, Filming of social service theme song, distribution of stanzas, instructions, pamphlets, cassette discs, compilation of circulars, establishment of Elderly Districts, Provincial Councils in the Western Province, Probation and Social Services under the full support of Jagath Angage, Hon. Minister of the Western Province.
Thereafter, on 09.05.2013, Mrs. BHC Shiromali was appointed as the new Director of Social Services in the Western Province and during her tenure, the Mayura Child Mentoring Center in Matugama was inaugurated for children with disabilities. During her tenure, it was also proposed to construct Elderly Welfare Service Centers.
Mrs.Vajira Damayanthi Appointed on 01.08.2017 as the Director of Social Services of the Western Province, Establishment of the Western Provincial Department of Social Services in the new office complex of the Western Province on 06.06.2018 during the her tenure of the Provincial Director of Social Services, Mrs. Vajira Damayanthi. The Departmental Housing Committee was established during her tenure.
Mrs. A. Thamarika Harshani who was appointed as the Provincial Director of Social Services on 20.10.2018 served as the Provincial Director of Social Services until 24th June 2019.
On June 24, 2019, the present Provincial Director of Social Services, Mrs. Chandima Dissanayake was appointed as the Director of Social Services. During her tenure, the Elders’ Day was celebrated at the Nelum pokuna International Theater with the participation of 1100 elders and at the invitation of the Hon. Governor, Western Province, A.J.M. Muzammil and a large number of invited guests. A special change made during her tenure was the use of members of several divisional Elders’ Associations to dance, sing and play on the same stage on the same song.
Organizing a Disability Day celebration for disabled children & prize giving ceremony was held at the new theater under in the lead of Hon. Governor Sita Arambepola.
With the resources of veteran lyricists Rambukana Siddhartha Thera and Mahinda Chandrasekara, the organization of entertainment programs for stress management on behalf of the Western Province Elders’ Council was implemented according to a concept of Mrs. Chandima Dissanayake, Director of Social Services, Western Province.
During her tenure, a field trip was organized to visit the Ruhunu Ridiyagama Tropical Home to share the experiences of the staff and to facilitate the educational tour of the officers of the Department of Social Services of the Northern Provincial Council.
First aid programs were first implemented for the staff of the Government Tropical Home, Gangodawila and the Special Child Rehabilitation Center, Bellanthara. During her tenure, personality training courses and attitude development workshops were conducted.
It was she who decided to limit the number of awards at the Susevabhimani Awards to only five outstanding individuals.
Steps were taken to streamline the file system in all sections and to make the duties more efficient.
Preparation of Master Plan for Establishment of Gangodawila Government Tropical Home at Sunflower Village and Commencement of preliminary work for the establishment of the Government Tropical Home at Sunflower Village, Obtaining the ownership of the land in Sunflower Village to the Western Provincial Department of Social service, She also took ownership of the land of the Mirigama Government Elders ‘Home and the land of the Mirigama Government Special Boys’ Rehabilitation Center for the Western Provincial Department of Social service.
Providing clothing, slippers, bedding to the residents of Gangodawila Government Specialized Child Rehabilitation Center, Bellanthara Government Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Mirigama Government Elderly Home and Mirigama Government Specialized Children’s Rehabilitation Center, providing training and equipment to the four institutions, Mrs. Chandima Dissanayake also carried out special tasks such as deploying staff officers and initiating training for residents.
She also sought approval to increase the Tuberculosis (TB) allowance from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 3000. & also She decided to appoint officers in charge of the Mirigama and Colombo Elderly Day Welfare Centers and to appoint committees headed by the Assistant Director and Administrative Officer to supervise the institutions.
She was the one who updated the letterheads and changed the letters of the Public Aid Card launched in the year 2012 using the Provincial government logo and printed the card in yellow.
She has also made arrangements to obtain formal grants for uniform allowances, Dialysis assistance maintenance assistance, surgery assistance, financial assistance, nutrition assistance, disability equipment assistance, rehabilitation assistance, public assistance, blood transfusion assistance and medical assistance.
The use of government vehicles, regularization of purchases, training of staff to make payments in accordance with circulars and Establishments Code are also being carried out.
Mrs. Chandima Dissanayake’s benefits to the staff include obtaining approval for a telephone allowance of Rs. 2000 / – for social service officers, obtaining approval to provide a luggage, obtaining approval to increase travel allowance and obtaining formal travel allowance for the staff of the institution.
Built for the welfare of the elderly community Welfare Service Center of Colombo District Elder Welfare and Resource Center has been opened By the Hon. Governor Sita Arambepola in Polwattha, The Mirigama Elderly Welfare Service Center was also opened in Mirigama by the Hon. Governor Roshan Goonetileke. And also Arrangements have been made to open an Elder Welfare Center in Kalutara.
Arrangements have been made to open the Disabled Children’s Training Center in Mirigama soon. The Western Provincial Department of Social Services has made a direct contribution to the task of controlling the Covid 19 epidemic. The Western Provincial Department of Social Services is doing a great deal for the disadvantaged community.
The Western Provincial Department of Social Services has made a direct contribution to the task of controlling the Covid 19 epidemic. The Western Provincial Department of Social Services is doing a great deal for the disadvantaged community.