Referring refugees and asylum seekers for CRS support

Do you know of someone who might benefit from some good neighbour support from CRS volunteers? 

What does CRS offer?

CRS is a volunteer organisation that provides practical good neighbour support to asylum seekers and refugees in the ACT.  We match volunteers to the people we support. Through developing a relationship with the people they are supporting, these volunteers are able to help them connect socially and access services. This is the primary support activity offered by CRS.

CRS also offers some limited financial support to the people registered with us. However, we cannot offer financial assistance to people who are not registered with us and supported by volunteers.

Who can access CRS support?

CRS does not have strict eligibility criteria. However, we are a 100% volunteer organisation and this can limit our capacity to provide assistance.

Our priority is to assist asylum seekers on temporary visas who are not eligible for much government assistance and recently arrived refugees who are experiencing significant challenges settling into Canberra.

If someone falls outside these priorities but there is a high level of need, and we have capacity, CRS would not rule out providing assistance.

How can I refer someone to CRS?

You can refer someone to CRS by sending an email to with some details about the person/people you are referring and their needs. Useful information would include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Family composition
  • Suburb
  • Country of origin
  • Visa type
  • Contact details
  • Language spoken at home
  • An indication of English level
  • Length of time in Australia/Canberra
  • Type of assistance needed

It’s not necessary to have all these details, but they are helpful. 

What happens next?

One of the CRS volunteer support coordinators will contact you. If after that it’s decided to progress the referral, the following steps will be followed:

  1. The volunteer support coordinators will meet with the referred refugees/asylum seekers to:
  2. explain what CRS can offer them,
  3. find out some more information about their needs
  4. seek their agreement to proceed with the referral and volunteer support.

The person making the referral may or may not participate in this initial meeting, according to circumstances and preferences.

  • The referral will be considered by the CRS committee for confirmation.
  • If confirmed, CRS will seek support volunteers from its membership.
  • CRS volunteer support coordinators will brief interested volunteers on the needs of the referred refugees/asylum seekers.
  • CRS volunteer support coordinators will introduce the volunteers to the referred refugees/asylum seekers.