Coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and guidance for the community services sector.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Roadmap for reopening for the Community Services Sector

The Premier has released Victoria’s Roadmap for reopening in safe, steady and sustainable steps. This is our path out of restrictions and into COVID Normal. There are separate roadmaps for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

From 11:59pm on 13 September 2020, some restrictions will begin to ease across Victoria.

The easing of restrictions will be subject to public health advice and meeting specific 14-day average case numbers.

An overview and summary of the Roadmap is at www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-roadmaps

It is recommended that all community service organisations regularly visit this website for any updates to the Roadmap.

For community services organisations funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, any issues requiring further clarification should be directed to your Agency Performance and System Support contact in the first instance.

Industry restrictions can be accessed on these websites:

Please refer to the Community services sector restrictions: coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap for reopening for advice about industry restrictions that apply to the community services sector.

Guidance for coronavirus (COVID-19) planning in the community services sector

The Guidance for coronavirus (COVID-19) planning in the community services sector has been issued to provide advice and tools for the community services sector. The Guidance supplements the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan for the community services sector and includes:

This guidance includes tools to assist organisations with coronavirus (COVID-19) planning such as: 

  • key considerations to apply when determining how to deliver services safely
  • tools to help organisations identify risks of coronavirus transmission and develop strategies to respond to those risks while working to transition to normal service delivery.

The guidance is intended to remain relevant as restrictions continue to be adjusted, yet the risk posed by coronavirus remains.

The department will continue to work with you to understand the changing needs of your organisations, your staff and your clients. This includes where additional guidance or support may be required.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan for the Victorian Community Services Sector

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan for the Victorian Community Services Sector is designed to enable the ongoing provision of vital services to vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians.

The plan sets out a four-stage response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with guidance provided to the community services sector for Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the four-stage pandemic response.

This plan is intended to provide guidance for the community services sector to inform pandemic response planning.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) for community service providers

Information for providers of residential care, supported residential services, disability group homes, family violence and sexual assault services, child and family services, child protection, crisis and congregate homelessness services and other care settings.

eLearning modules for Community Services Workers

The department has developed three free eLearning modules in collaboration with Anglicare Victoria and Eve Learning for the community services sector. The topics are: 

  • COVID-safe for Residential Carers 
  • PPE for Community Workers
  • Use of P2/N95 masks

The three modules take about 20 minutes each to complete. They give practical guidance on how to use PPE (including face masks) correctly and reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission. These files are easily accessible and interactive. 

The PPE for Community Workers module is a prerequisite for the third module on Use of P2/N95 masks.

You will receive a certificate when you complete each module.

Watch this 3 minute YouTube clip showing the key features of the first two eLearning modules.

To access the eLearning modules, log in or sign up to the Eve Learning learning system.

Organisations wishing to host these eLearn modules can download the latest version of the courses as SCORM files. These files can be provided on request.

For more information, please email COVID Disability Prevention COVIDDP@dhhs.vic.gov.au at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission 

This guide provides information on the routine cleaning and disinfecting required to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission in residential care homes.

This fact sheet explains how to manage clinical waste from coronavirus (COVID-19), and arrange for collections in various workplace settings.

Agency monitoring

This document outlines the department’s key principles and changes in approach that funded agencies can expect in relation to monitoring and managing service delivery performance and continuity issues.

Funding and service delivery

On Friday 13 March 2020, the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) co-hosted an information session for the community sector about the ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak and sector preparedness. This FAQ responds to questions raised during the forum regarding COVID-19 and its interaction with service delivery and funding.

Community Activation and Social Isolation Initiative

Information about the Victorian Government’s new Community Activation and Social Isolation (CASI) initiative for local organisations, stakeholders and individuals. The initiative is intended to help people who might be feeling lonely or have lost their regular networks during coronavirus (COVID-19) to build social connections and networks of support in their local communities.

As part of the initiative, people can now call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline (1800 675 398) to receive emotional support if they are feeling lonely or disconnected as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Engaging interpreters during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Interpreters play an essential role in ensuring that Victorians with limited English proficiency or who use sign language can access services and understand and participate meaningfully in the care they receive. 

This guidance note advises Victorian Government funded agencies and services on how to safely and effectively engage interpreters during coronavirus (COVID-19).