Community Visitors Scheme

Page last updated: 17 March 2017

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;
  • friend;or
  • 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;
  • visitors;
  • providers; and
  • consumers.

CVS Video

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.

CVS Review

The department reviewed the CVS to see how the Scheme can continue to provide support to aged care consumers who are socially isolated or at risk of social isolation.

Australian healthcare Associates (AHA) undertook the review and national consultation process. This included consultation with CVS Network Members, Auspices and other key aged care stakeholders. Submissions closed on 2 December 2016.

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.

View the list of CVS Network Members

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;
  • Victoria;
  • Queensland; and 
  • Western Australia.

View their contact details