About the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS)

This scheme involves volunteers visiting older people. Find out who can be visited, why the scheme is important and how it’s evaluated.

What the scheme is

This scheme supports volunteer visits to provide friendship and companionship to older people. 

Visits are available to anyone who: 

  • receives government-subsidised residential aged care or Home Care Packages, including care recipients approved or on the National Priority System for residential or home care packages 
  • is socially isolated. 

We work with around 140 community organisations (auspices) to recruit and support volunteers to visit socially isolated older Australians.

The scheme has been running for over 30 years. It was previously known as the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS).

Why it is important

Some older people can feel alone for various reasons. This includes: 

  • feeling isolated from their culture and heritage 
  • little contact with friends or relatives 
  • 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. 

Goals

Volunteer visiting is a free service that aims to: 

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

It focuses on the needs of older people from particular linguistic, cultural and complex vulnerability backgrounds who may be at greater risk of social isolation. These include people:

  • from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities 
  • from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds 
  • who live in rural or remote areas 
  • who are financially or socially disadvantaged 
  • who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless 
  • who are veterans (note: Veterans Home Care (VHC) or Community Nursing (CN) recipients must also receive Commonwealth funded Home Care Package service)
  • who are care leavers 
  • who are parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal 
  • who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex
  • living with a disability
  • who are deaf or hearing impaired/hard of hearing
  • living with cognitive impairment, including dementia
  • experiencing mental health conditions and/or who have been exposed to trauma.

How it works

We fund community organisations (auspices) 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. The scheme also accepts referrals from: 

  • aged care service providers 
  • family members 
  • friends
  • health professionals.

Learn more about how to become a volunteer visitor

Request a volunteer visitor (for yourself or someone else).

Who we work with

Community organisations (auspices) are funded through grant rounds to provide services.

Network members represent each state and territory. Their role is to:

  • support community organisations (auspices) to deliver the scheme 
  • coordinate volunteers and services in each state and territory 
  • help communication between community organisations (auspices) and us. 

We manage and organise regular reviews of the scheme.

Community organisations we work with

State or territoryOrganisation
ACTAgeing With Grace
ACTAustralian Red Cross Society
ACTCouncil on the Ageing (ACT)
ACTFeros Care
ACTHammondCare
ACTMeridian
ACTMs Plus
NSWAccessible Diversity Services Initiative
NSWAcon Health
NSWAgeing With Grace
NSWAnglican Community Services (Anglicare Sydney)
NSWAustralian Nursing Home Foundation
NSWAustralian Red Cross Society
NSWBelong Blue Mountains
NSWCatholic Healthcare
NSWCatholicCare Sydney
NSWCCNB (Belong)
NSWChester Hill Neighbourhood Centre
NSWChinese Australian Services Society
NSWCo As It Italian Association of Assistance
NSWDigital Literacy Foundation
NSWFeros Care
NSWFoundation for Education and Training (Creston College)
NSWGreek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia consolidated Trust Greek Welfare Centre
NSWHammondCare
NSWHunter Volunteer Centre 
NSWHurstville Enterprise Association for People Services (St Georges Career Development Centre)
NSWIntereach
NSWKu-Ring-Gai Neighbourhood Centre (KNC)
NSWLifeline Northern Beaches
NSWLinked Community Services
NSWManning Support Services
NSWMany Rooms
NSWMeridian
NSWMs Plus
NSWMulticultural Care
NSWMulticultural Communities Council of Illawarra
NSWMulticultural Disability Advocacy Association of New South Wales
NSWNeighbourhood Central
NSWNorthern Rivers Community Gateway
NSWNorthern Settlement Services (Mosaic Multicultural Connections)
NSWOrange City Council
NSWOxley Community Transport Service
NSWPathways Community Care
NSWRiverina Community College
NSWSpanish Community Care Association
NSWSt Vincent's Care Services
NSWSydney Local Health District
NSWThe Salvation Army (New South Wales) Property Trust
NSWThe Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW)
NSWToukley Neighbourhood Centre
NSWVolunteering Central Coast
NSWVolunteering Coffs Harbour
NSWWesley Community Services
NSWWestern Sydney Migrant Resource Centre
NTAgeing With Grace
NTAnglicare NT
NTMVP Wellbeing
QldAll Aged Care
QldBurdekin Community Association
QldCo.As.It. Community Services
QldComlink Australia
QldCommunity Gro
QldEddison and Clare (Sunnycare Home Services)
QldEmerge Community Care
QldFeros Care
QldFootprints Community
QldGladstone Community Linking Agency
QldHervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre
QldIMPACT Community Services
QldLatin American Community of Australia (Qld)
QldMackay Community Visitors Association
QldMany Rooms
QldMiCare
QldMultiLink Community Services
QldQueensland Community Care Network
QldQueensland Council for LGBTI Health
QldSeventh Day Adventist Church Community Visitation Program
QldSkill Centred Queensland
QldSt John Ambulance Australia Queensland
QldSt Vincent's Care Services
QldStar Community Services
QldSuncare Community Services
QldThe Corporation of the Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane (Anglicare Southern Queensland)
QldThe Roman Catholic Trust Corporation for the Diocese of Rockhampton
QldVolunteering Gold Coast
QldWarrina Innisfail Auxiliary
QldWesley Mission Queensland
QldWynnum Baptist Church Community Visitors Scheme
SA Australian Red Cross Society
SA Chinese Welfare Services of South Australia
SA Community Care and Transport (Care in Motion)
SA Council on the Ageing (South Australia)
SA Enfield Baptist Church
SA Golden Retriever Club of South Australia
SA HammondCare
SA Helping Hand Aged Care
SA Lutheran Church of Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory District
SA Mount Barker District Council
SA Multicultural Communities Council of SA
SA Southern Volunteering (SA)
SA St John Ambulance Australia South Australia
SA The City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters
SA Thorne Harbour Health
TasAustralian Red Cross Society
TasKaringal St Laurence (GenU)
TasLifeline Tasmania 
TasWorking It Out
VicAgeing With Grace
VicAustralian Greek Welfare Society (Pronia)
VicAustralian Multicultural Community Services
VicAustralian Red Cross Society
VicAustralian-Filipino Community Services (CPCA Victoria)
VicBalwyn Evergreen Centre
VicC Care 
VicCentral Bayside Community Health Services (Better Health Network)
VicChabad Institutions of Victoria
VicColac Area Health
VicDEG (Active Community Group)
VicDoncaster Community Care and Counselling Centre
VicFeros Care
VicFronditha Care
VicHammondCare
VicInclusion Melbourne
VicIntereach
VicJocare - Caring for Neighbours
VicKaringal St Laurence
VicLatrobe Community Health Service
VicMacedon Ranges Shire Council
VicMany Rooms
VicMECWA
VicMelbourne City Mission
VicMiCare
VicMigrant Information Centre (Eastern Melbourne)
VicMs Plus
VicMVP Wellbeing
VicNexus Primary Health
VicResidential Care Rights (Elder Rights Advocacy)
VicRussian Ethnic Representative Council of Victoria
VicSacred Heart Mission
VicSerbian Community Association of Australia
VicSmile on Seniors Oz
VicSouthern Migrant and Refugee Centre
VicSt Vincent's Care Services
VicSwitchboard (Victoria)
VicTabulam and Templer Homes for the Aged
VicThe Centre for Continuing Education
VicThorne Harbour Health
VicUnited- Spanish Latin American Welfare Centre
WAAdvocare Incorporated
WAAssociation for Culturally Appropriate Services
WAAustralian Red Cross Society
WABaptistcare WA
WACity of Stirling
WADutch Aged Care, Western Australia (CURA)
WAGay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex Rights in Ageing (GRAI)
WAHome and Lifestyle Options
WAItalo-Australian Welfare & Cultural Centre
WALiving Stone Foundation (Lifeline WA)
WAMelville Cares
WAMulticultural Services Centre of Western Australia
WANuhra Community
WAPeople Who Care
WARiverview Community Services
WAShire of Esperance
WAUmbrella - Multicultural Community Care Services

There are network members representing each state and territory. Their role is to:

  • support community organisations (auspices) to deliver the scheme 
  • coordinate volunteers and services in each state and territory 
  • help communication between community organisations (auspices) and us. 

Evaluation and review

We appointed Monash University to evaluate the ACVVS from 2023–2026.

The evaluation will test the:

  • effectiveness of the social support intervention in improving quality of life for participants (recipients and volunteers) through reduction of social isolation and loneliness
  • effectiveness of the social support intervention for diverse, complex vulnerability and cultural groups including funding models and delivery pathways
  • cost effectiveness of the intervention’s impact on health, mental health and aged care service usage for care recipients
  • extent to which the scheme has achieved its intended program outcomes.
Date last updated:

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