Community Visitors Scheme
The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) uses volunteers to make regular visits to people who are socially isolated or are at risk of social isolation or loneliness.
CVS provides friendship and companionship by matching aged care recipients with volunteer visitors.
Visits can be one-on-one as well as group visits in aged care homes and one-on-one visits to home care package recipients.
Any care recipient whose quality of life could be improved by the companionship of a regular community visitor can be referred to the CVS by:
- their aged care provider;
- a family member;
- self-identify that they would benefit.
The CVS commenced in 1992 and is available to recipients of Australian Government subsidised residential aged care services or Home Care Packages.
The CVS supports organisations referred to as Auspices to:
- support visitor resident relationships;
- recruit, train and support volunteer community visitors; and
- match volunteers to care recipients.
Become a CVS volunteer visitor
Volunteering as a community visitor can be a rewarding experience. By befriending an older person, volunteers have a chance to make a positive difference to the care recipients life – as well as their own.
Aged care recipients come from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds, and community visitors from all backgrounds are welcome.
Anyone interested in becoming a visitor should contact the relevant state/territory Network Member.
CVS Frequently Asked Questions
Information about the delivery of the CVS can be found in four sets of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) each aimed at:
- CVS Auspices;
- providers; and
You can also watch a 30 minute video about the CVS, ‘Fostering social inclusion through the Community Visitors Scheme’. This video provides a description of the CVS and illustrates the value and benefits derived from the CVS from the point of view of the following stakeholders:
- funded organisations;
- volunteer visitors; and
- the care recipients.
The Australian Government has completed the review of the CVS and released the final report.
The department engaged Australian Healthcare Associates (AHA) to undertake the review. The review was informed by a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process, including an online discussion paper which closed on 2 December 2016.
The report presents a range of options to enhance the CVS and to align it with other aged care support programs within the context of current and ongoing aged care reforms. The government is considering these options.
Download or view the Review of the Community Visitors Scheme Final Report.
For enquiries about the CVS email CVS@health.gov.au.
CVS State and Territory Network Members
CVS Network Members are appointed by Auspices to represent the network of Auspices in their state or territory. The Network Members have responsibility for facilitating links between CVS Auspices and the Department of Health to promote innovation and self-sufficiency amongst CVS Auspices, as well as providing an efficient and effective communication and consultation mechanism between CVS Auspices and the Department.
CVS Services for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex people
As part of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Ageing and Aged Care Strategy the Government made grants available from 2013-14 to expand the CVS to cater for the needs of LGBTI people. The Government currently funds four CVS Auspices to provide LGBTI CVS services in:
- New South Wales & the Australian Capital Territory;
- Queensland; and
- Western Australia.