Majlis mula ditubuhkan oleh Jabatan Buruh dan Kebajikan dan dinamakan sebagai Majlis Kebajikan Sosial.
Majlis dikenali sebagai Majlis Kebajikan Masyarakat Sabah bersama Majlis Kebajikan Sosial Sarawak dan The Malayan Sosial Welfare Council telah bergabung dan menjadi ahli gabungan Majlis Kebajikan Masyarakat Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Majlis ditubuhkan semula dan dinamakan Majlis Perkhidmatan Masyarakat Sabah di bawah Kertas Kabinet 145/67 pada 9 Mei 1968.
Majlis terus bergiat aktif dan menjadi sebuah Badan Berkanun Negeri. Kerajaan Negeri telah menggubalkan Enakmen No. 10 Tahun 1997 Majlis Perkhidmatan Masyarakat Sabah yang berkuatkuasa pada 1 Mac 1998.
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 centres 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.