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Project information

Family Project

We aim to support families separated by immigration detention to be reunited and push for an end to the separation of families by immigration detention


Charity information: Bail for Immigration Detainees

Bail for Immigration Detainees logo
  • Need


    Children can be separated from their parents when one parent is placed in immigration detention. Sometimes the parent will have served a criminal sentence - often for an immigration offence - and, instead of being reunited with their children post-sentence, are placed in immigration detention. The decision to detain is not sanctioned by a court, is not time-limited and detainees have no automatic publicly-funded legal representation.


    We provide legal advice, information and representation to families affected by immigration detention where one parent, usually the main carer, is detained. We also carry out research and use evidence from our casework to advocate for more humane alternatives to be used and for the best interests of children to be central to any decision involving the family.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To push for an end the separation of families for immigration purposes


    » Legal advice, information and representation on bail to secure the release of parents to be reunited with their children
    » Referral of cases for judicial review on unlawful detention
    » Advocacy with civil servants and politicians

    What success will look like

    Success will be..fewer primary carers detained, or an end to the separation of families for immigration purposes.

    Aim 2

    To ensure that any alternatives to separating families safeguard child welfare and families’ rights


    » Raise concerns with civil servants and politicians, challenging any breaches of child welfare

    What success will look like

    Success will be...alternatives will fully safeguard child welfare and have the best interests of the child at their heart

  • Impact


    Families will not be separated by immigration detention. The government will deploy alternatives with families subject to immigration control. We will continue to request government to keep data on this group of people and statistics will demonstrate the success. We will also keep data on our own clients so as to be able to demonstrate a reduction in parents being detained.


    More parents are detained wtihout their children as the government has pledged to end the detention of families. We are dealing with this by reminding government of their duty to promote and safeguard the welfare of children and, where this does not happen, to refer cases for litigation.


    With an annual report

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £190,440

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £159,795 Salaries Monthly workshops, legal advice and representation in court, gathering evidence, research, advocacy
      £13,414 Management & admin Management of project
      £17,231 Overheads Contribution to rent, etc.
  • Background


    People are held in various immigration detention centres in the UK. Support will be provided by telephone to anyone in any of the centres but workshops will be delivered principally to the centres in the south-east of England.


    Immigration detainees have no automatic access to legal representation. A recent survey across the detention estate that we carried out revealed that 19% of those interviewed had never had a legal representative while in detention. Immigration detention is not time-limited. The average length of separation of 28 families we worked with was 307 days. Separation of children from their parents is extremely damaging and can affect children's mental and physical health.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    BID has a long track record of providing support on bail for people in detention. We have also acquired a strong body of evidence on different aspects of detention through our research in the eleven years since our inception. We have a comprehensive library of reports, available on our website, which draw attention to, for example, the unfairness of the Detained Fast Track, a means of determining asylum claims quickly while keeping people detained.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Elli Free

    Legal Manager and overall manager of the project, delivering the legal casework, coordinating all the information and evidence.