Main Navigation

Community Detention program

What is the Community Detention program?
The Community Detention program provides support to vulnerable people to live in the community, rather than in an immigration detention facility, while waiting for the outcomes of their visa application.

Who does the program support?
We provide support to families with children, unaccompanied minors and individual adults, as determined eligible by Department of Immigration.

People in the Community Detention program are still legally detained and are not allowed to work.

Who funds and determines eligibility for the program?
Red Cross was engaged by the Department of Immigration as a lead agency in delivery of this program.

The program is fully funded by The Department of Immigration, which is responsible for the implementation of the Community Detention program.

The Department of Immigration approves who can live in the program and decides outcomes of visa applications. Red Cross has no influence over eligibility for the program or visa outcomes.

Who provides day-to-day care in the program?
Red Cross works with a number of partner agencies, in collaboration with welfare and community organisations, across Australia to provide care for people in the Community Detention program.

What kind of support does Red Cross provide?
Program support includes access to safe housing, adequate healthcare and education for school-age children.

Why does Red Cross run this program for asylum seekers?
Red Cross assists migrants, irrespective of their legal status, whose survival, dignity, physical or mental health in under threat. We are committed to playing an on-going leading role in this critical humanitarian work.

The program was developed in 2005 through discussions with Red Cross, other humanitarian agencies and the Department of Immigration to provide a more humane detention model for families with children, unaccompanied minors and individual adults seeking asylum.

Living in community detention is a better option for the physical and mental well-being of asylum seekers awaiting resolution of their visa status. It gives people the chance to be part of a community, providing them with emotional and practical support while they wait.

How do I find out more?

For more information, please read the Community Detention program information sheet or contact your local Red Cross office.

To learn more about the Community Detention program, visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.



Photo: Hadyniak. Stock image used to protect the identity of the individual.  




Hope after heartache

Refugee Week

Haider is a Hazara from Afghanistan who looks forward to giving back to his community in Australia. Read his story.

Just like me

Just like me

A young asylum seeker and a volunteer find they have a lot in common through the Community Detention program. Read more.