The social services provisions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are extensive by any standards. The Fourth Five Year Development Plan (1405-1410 AH: 1985-1990) set out clearly the philosophy behind the Kingdom's extensive social services program:
The social services are designed to redress existing imbalances, to improve living standards and the quality of life of the population, to stimulate citizen participation in community development activities, and to provide remedial care and assistance for the disabled and the deprived.
There are a number of social service agencies whose task it is to remedy social problems, many of which are created by the process of social development itself.
The government takes the view that poverty and deprivation are not necessarily due to the failure of individuals to meet their own needs. Most of these problems are a result of broader external conditions in society as a whole, and will not solve themselves. Public and private interventions are necessary to improve the conditions of the individual and the community. The Social Services agencies will continue to pay attention to the development of Saudi society, to assist in improving the standard of living, and to take steps to redress some of the social imbalances which have become salient during this period of rapid economic change.
Amongst the social services provided by the state are wide-ranging programs designed to improve living conditions for the population and to smooth the processes related to the rapid transformation of the socio-economic system. There are a number of social rehabilitation, care and remedial services, designed to assist the physically or mentally disadvantaged, to protect vulnerable members of society, and to deal with such problems as juvenile delinquency. Special attention is given to raising the living standards of the poorest sections of the community, particularly in the villages and the less developed districts of the towns and cities.