Domestic and family violence self-funded refuges

Refuges—also called shelters—provide a place of safety for women and children escaping domestic and family violence (DFV).

Most refuges in Queensland receive government funding to provide temporary supported accommodation and other support services to women and children affected by DFV. These refuges meet the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) standards.

Some other organisations offer DFV accommodation services without receiving government funding. These are known as self-funded refuges.

Unlike government-funded refuges, self-funded refuges don't have to meet requirements under quality checking processes such as:

  • meeting the specific practice standards for working with women affected by DFV
  • meeting the requirements for delivering Specialist Homelessness Services, or
  • complying with our HSQF.

If you or someone you know is escaping DFV, DVConnect can help find safe and secure accommodation through the statewide DFV crisis hotline, including access to refuge. DVConnect will speak with the person seeking support and undertake an initial risk assessment before finding a placement at a refuge. Referral organisations including DVConnect will only refer women to refuges they know are safe, secure, supportive, accountable and connected into the support service system through local relationships. You can find out more about refuges on the DVConnect website.

Referral considerations

Self-funded refuges that wish to be considered as a referral point for DFV organisations need to demonstrate their service can appropriately meet the safety, security and support needs of women and children escaping DFV. Referral organisations must be confident that any self-funded refuges they refer to are safe and appropriate.

Suitability assessment guide

The Suitability assessment guide (PDF) (or DOCX) is a resource to assist referral organisations to consider if the self-funded refuges are appropriate for referral.

The guide may also be used by self-funded refuges—or organisations seeking to establish a self-funded refuge—to self-assess the suitability of their current and/or proposed services.

The guide outlines 5 criteria for assessment:

  1. Safety.
  2. Understanding risks and needs.
  3. Working with clients.
  4. Staff.
  5. Governance.

The guide is currently being reviewed.

Registration as a Residential Service

The Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002 requires all residential services that meet the threshold requirements—including self-funded refuges—to apply for registration and accreditation.


To find out more, call the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works Regulatory Services team on 13QGOV (13 74 68) or email