Complex Case Support Program

The Complex Case Support (CCS) program delivers specialised, and intensive case management services to eligible humanitarian entrants with exceptional needs which extend beyond the scope of other settlement services, such as the Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) program and Settlement grants.

CCS is designed to work in partnership with settlement and mainstream services to address barriers these clients face in settling in Australia, providing tailored and flexible responses to meet their individual needs.

CCS services are delivered by a number of professional organisations across Australia.


A person who holds one of the following visa types is eligible for CCS:

  • Refugee
  • Special Humanitarian Programme
  • Permanent protection
  • All temporary protection

A person is eligible for services up to five years after their arrival in Australia. Flexibility may be shown to this timeframe and other visa subclasses in exceptional circumstances.

Exceptional needs

Eligibility for CCS is assessed on a person displaying an inability to independently engage with appropriate supports and their being impacted by one or more of the following:

  • Disability
    • physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment
    • diagnosed or undiagnosed
  • health needs that are severe, critical, long term and/or unmanaged
    • diagnosed or undiagnosed
  • mental health issues that significantly impact daily life
    • including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts, risk of self-harm or other conditions
    • diagnosed or undiagnosed.
  • homelessness or housing instability
    • primary homelessness, such as sleeping rough or living in an improvised dwelling
    • secondary homelessness, including staying with friends or relatives and with no other usual address and people staying in specialist homelessness services
    • risk of homelessness
    • housing that is inappropriate due to a person’s disability
  • domestic and family violence
    • domestic and family violence occurs when someone tries to control their partner or other family/household members in ways that intimidate or oppress them.
    • Controlling behaviours can include threats, humiliation (‘put downs’), emotional abuse, physical assault, sexual abuse, financial exploitation or deprivation and social isolation, such as not allowing contact with family or friends
    • family violence means conduct, whether actual or threatened, by a family member towards the person, other family members and/or their property that causes the person to fear for their personal well-being and/or safety
    • domestic violence can include physical, emotional and/or psychological violence to someone who is not a family member, for example co-tenants and people in shared housing situations.
  • child and youth welfare concerns.
    • including risky or anti-social behaviour, substance abuse or disengagement from educational activities
    • including child protection issues such as physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse, neglect, underage forced marriage or other
    • parenting concerns
    • developmental concerns (diagnosed or undiagnosed).

Issues may be significantly impacting on daily life and settlement outcomes, and may result in family and/or relationship breakdown, behavioural concerns, social isolation, financial hardship and/or legal issues.

CCS provides additional and complementary support to humanitarian entrants. It does not duplicate services that adequately meet the identified needs of clients such as the Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) Programme, Settlement Services Programme, and the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). These services may be accessed at the same time as CCS.

Who can refer a person for Complex Case Support services

Anyone can refer a person for CCS, including:

  • migrant resource centres and refugee support groups
  • settlement service providers
  • Australian Government, state or territory government agencies
  • community and health organisations
  • local church and volunteer groups
  • doctors, teachers, police officers and school counsellors
  • individuals, including self-referral.

How to refer a person to Complex Case Support services

If someone you know in the above client groups appears to be in need of this type of support, you may first contact the Complex Case Support team on 1300 855 669 to discuss the referral and whether it meets eligibility criteria.

To refer a client to CCS please complete a CCS referral form and email it to the Complex Case Support team at

More information

Evaluation of Humanitarian Settlement Services and Complex Case Support programs

The Department has completed an Evaluation of the Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) and Complex Case Support (CCS) programs.

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