Community Visitors Scheme (CVS)

Up to $46.14M is available from the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) to help organisations recruit volunteers to provide friendship and companionship for older people.

   Community Visitors Scheme

Community Visitors Scheme (CVS)

The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) supports organisations (auspices) to recruit volunteers to provide friendship and companionship for older people who receive Australian Government subsidised aged care and who are isolated or at risk of social isolation.  This CVS Grant Opportunity is divided into the following 3 Activities:

  • Activity 1:  CVS Home Care involves volunteers conducting one-on-one visits to consumers of an Australian Government subsidised Home Care Package. These visits are conducted by a single volunteer in the home of the care recipient.
  • Activity 2:  CVS Residential Care is comprised of one-on-one and group volunteer visits to consumers of Australian Government subsidised residential aged care. One-on-one visits are conducted by one volunteer with a single care recipient. Group visits involve one or more visitors to two or more consumers of Australian Government subsidised residential aged care at the same time, occurring in the residential aged care home.
  • Activity 3:  CVS Network Members represent and support CVS auspices within each state and territory. A Network Member for each state or territory (combined NSW/ACT) will be appointed. The local CVS Network Member can advise which CVS auspices are operating in the area. The Network Members have responsibility for facilitating links between CVS auspices and the department and supporting the CVS auspices.



The Access and Information Program is an Australian Government initiative administered by the Department of Health (the department) to improve the wellbeing of older Australians through targeted support, access to quality care and related information services.

The objective of the program is to support equitable and timely access to aged care services and information for older Australians, their families, representatives and carers.

The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is a sub-program of the Access and Information Program.

The CVS commenced in 1992-93 to support organisations to recruit volunteers to provide friendship and companionship through one-on-one visits to older people receiving Australian Government subsidised residential aged care who are socially isolated or at risk of social isolation. In 2013-14 its scope was expanded to include group visits in residential aged care homes and one-on-one visits to Home Care Package recipients.



The purpose of the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is to alleviate social isolation that may be experienced by older people who are frail or disabled and socially isolated, or at risk of social isolation. Their wellbeing and quality of life would be enhanced by receiving visits that offer friendship and companionship.

The objective of this grant is to fund organisations to provide one-on-one visits or group visits to consumers of Australian Government subsidised residential aged care and one-on-one visits to consumers of Australian Government subsidised home care packages.

The anticipated quality of life outcomes for recipients of these visits are:

  • increased self-esteem;
  • general feeling of wellbeing;
  • diminished feelings of depression and anxiety;
  • increased sense of purpose;
  • feeling cared for and/or connected to the community;
  • reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation;
  • a sense of connectedness to the care recipient’s individual culture and identity;
  • a sense of achievement through participation in a one-on-one relationship;
  • a sense of connectedness to other Commonwealth subsidised aged care recipients in the residential aged care home, and increased dynamics between the group of residents visited; and
  • maintained or increased independence.



An amount of up to $46.14 million (GST exclusive) has been allocated to the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) program from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2021.

Funding allocation will be based on the model of service delivery.

  • Face-to-face visits – Approximately $1,400 (GST exclusive) for each visitor providing at least 20 face-to-face visits per annum. Funding will be subject to indexation and will be indicated in the grant agreement.
  • Innovative projects – Alternate service delivery models (for example, digital) – up to 10% of total grant funding. This will be negotiated with the successful applicant based on the indicative budget provided in the application process.
  • Up to $6,000 (GST exclusive) per annum, per jurisdiction in additional funding will be provided for each network member. Funding will be determined based on the number of successful providers in their respective state or territory and will be negotiated with the successful applicant.


Eligible Activities

The grant may be used for the provision of services to older people who meet the criteria under section 1.2 of the guidelines. Those services are outlined in Section 1.2.1, Types of Volunteer Visits.

Innovative Projects – Alternate Service Delivery models (up to 10% of total grant funding)

Also eligible for funding are flexible, innovative methods of communication, including through digital channels, to facilitate interactive relationships between volunteers and Commonwealth subsidised aged care recipients, which will allow auspices to better reach socially isolated older people in regional and remote areas. This must be reflected in your budget.

Funding (approximately $1,400 GST exclusive per face-to-face visits) may be used for:

  • general administration costs such as contributions to rent, wages, postage, telephone, electricity and office supplies;
  • reimbursement of volunteer visitors’ out-of-pocket expenses (example – visitor travel costs to the care recipient) at the discretion of the CVS auspices;
  • expenses for recruitment, orientation and training of community visitors/co-ordinators;
  • mandatory police checks of potential volunteer visitors;
  • working with vulnerable people checks;
  • expenses directly associated with the promotion of the CVS;
  • required insurance premiums and audit fees; and
  • professional translation or interpreting services (if applicable).

CVS Network Members (up to $6,000 GST exclusive per annum for each network member)

Additional funding granted to an organisation for a CVS Network Member will need to cover the roles listed under section 1.2.2 (CVS Network Member).


Eligible Applicants

In accordance with Subsection 82-2 (1) of the Aged Care Act 1997 to be eligible you must be a body corporate.

You must also be one of the following entity types:

  • a company incorporated in Australia
  • a company incorporated by guarantee
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an incorporated association
  • a consortium with a lead organisation
  • a registered charity or not-for-profit organisation
  • a publicly funded research organisation
  • an Australian local government body
  • an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and /or Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.

Applications from consortia are encouraged by the department. The lead organisation must meet the eligibility criteria. The department will enter into a grant agreement with the nominated lead organisation.



Applications close 12 June 2018.


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