As the lead agency in social welfare and development, the Department exercises the following functions:
- Formulates policies and plans which provide direction to intermediaries and other implementers in the development and delivery of social welfare and development services;
- Develops and enriches existing programs and services for specific groups, such as children and youth, women, family and communities, solo parents, older persons and PWDs;
- Registers, licenses and accredits individuals, agencies and organizations engaged in social welfare and development services, sets standards and monitors the empowerment and compliance to these standards;
- Provides technical assistance and capability building to intermediaries; and
- Provides social protection of the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged sector, DSWD also gives augmentation fund to local government units so these could deliver social welfare and development services to depressed municipalities and barangays and provide protective services to individuals, families and communities in crisis situations.