Community Visitors Scheme (CVS)

Page last updated: 30 August 2019

What is the CVS?

The CVS supports volunteer visits to provide friendship and companionship to older people.

Visits are available to anyone who:

  • receives government-funded residential aged care or home care packages
  • are socially isolated

Why is the CVS important?

Some older people feel alone for a number of reasons, including:

  • little contact with friends or relatives
  • feeling isolated from their culture and heritage
  • mobility issues that prevent them from taking part in social or leisure activities
  • being different in some way

Regular visits from volunteers can help to improve quality of life and help older people feel less isolated.

What are the goals of the CVS?

The CVS aims to:

  • provide friendship and companionship to older people
  • help develop social connections

It focuses on the needs of older people at higher risk of feeling isolated, including the special needs groups under the Aged Care Act 1997: people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people who live in rural or remote areas, people who are financially or socially disadvantaged, veterans, people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, care leavers, parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

How are these goals being met?

To meet these goals, the CVS funds organisations to:

  • recruit, train and support volunteer visitors
  • conduct police checks for volunteers
  • match volunteers to older people receiving aged care
  • support the relationships that form between the volunteers and the people they visit

Volunteers visit at least 20 times per year. They can be:

  • one-on-one or group visits to residential aged care homes
  • one-on-one visits to people receiving home care packages

Older people can refer themselves to the CVS. The CVS also accepts referrals from:

  • aged care providers
  • family members
  • friends

Who is involved in the CVS?

The Department of Health develops CVS policy and manages the CVS.

We fund organisations through grant rounds to provide CVS services. Funded CVS organisations are known as auspices.

We also fund CVS network members to:

  • support auspices to deliver the CVS
  • coordinate CVS volunteers and services in each state and territory
  • help communication between auspices and the Department of Health

Information about the delivery of the CVS can be found in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with information for consumers, visitors, CVS auspices and aged care providers.

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’ lives – 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 CVS network member.

Resources

Final report of the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) review

The review looked at how the CVS can better support people who receive residential and home care packages and feel isolated. The 2017 report makes a number of recommendations.

Review of the 2018 Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) grant round

In December 2018, Minister Wyatt requested a review of the 2018 grand round. The review looks at how we implemented the round and communicated with stakeholders.

Contact

To find out more about the CVS, email CVS@health.gov.au.