Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for community services and disability services sector.
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Priority processing of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests

Staff and residents of disability residential services who have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are considered a high priority when it comes to testing for coronavirus (COVID-19). This means the tests will be processed quickly and the results will be returned within 24 to 48 hours.

Additional support for people with disability

A funding package of $17 million will help support the needs of Victorians with disability during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

People with disability face increased risks at this time, particularly those with underlying chronic health conditions and high support needs.

This funding will help improve access to health services, provide more respite care for families, and support the recruitment of new workers to the disability sector.

Further information and considerations specific to people with disability and the people that care for them is available on the Information for people with disability - coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Increasing support for vulnerable children and families during coronavirus (COVID-19)

A $77.5 million funding package will help provide additional support to vulnerable children and families across Victoria amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For more information, see Carers and children in care.

COVID-19 plan for the Victorian Community Services Sector

The 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 major changes in this update are:

  • clarifying the difference between pandemic response stages and physical distancing stages
  • including a new DHHS community sector issue resolution process.

As more information becomes known about COVID-19 and its impacts on the community, this plan will be updated and re-circulated. Please view the plan online, as any printed copies may be superseded by newer versions online.

Access the updated COVID-19 Plan for the Victorian Community Services Sector on the Funded Agency Channel.

COVID-19 plan for the disability services sector

The plan is designed to enable disability service providers to continue essential services to people with disability. 

This advice gives guidance on how the disability sector can operate and prioritise their efforts in this current stage of the COVID-19 response.

The department encourages you to always view the plan online as it will be updated regularly.

Isolation management in disability accommodation settings

This document provide isolation management information and practice advice to service providers who support people with a disability.

Centre-based disability services 

Advice for the deliver of disability support services provided in specific facilities and other community centres.

Practice advice to support young people in Care Services during COVID-19

New practice advice to guide support for young people in Care Services to comply with stay at home directions during coronavirus COVID-19 has been prepared.

The advice has been developed to facilitate:

Care facilities directions

The Chief Health Officer is restricting access to facilities where vulnerable Victorians live and receive care. This will help protect elderly people, those with disability, people experiencing homelessness, and children and young people in secure welfare services from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). People who live in these care facilities are especially vulnerable to the transmission of coronavirus, and may be critically at-risk if exposed.

Visit Restricting access to care facilities - frequently asked questions for more information or Directions issued by the Chief Health Officer to read the Care facilities direction.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) for community service providers

The following guidance applies to outreach home-based care, and residential care.

Disability services senior practitioner practice advice

These documents provide information and practice advice to Senior Practitioners and service providers who support people with a disability.

Volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Volunteers willingly dedicate their time for the common good and without financial gain. A strong volunteering culture improves outcomes for people, communities and the environment, supports the delivery of services and improves mental health and wellbeing for volunteers themselves.

  • Information for current and prospective volunteers about how to support the community and stay safe is available on the Volunteer website.

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

The Guidance for coronavirus (COVID-19) planning in the community services sector (Word) has been issued to provide advice and tools for the community services sector in preparing for service changes, including restoration of face-to-face services. Sector specific guidance may also be updated to reflect this advice to ensure our approach to service continuity is aligned. 

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. 

It supplements the COVID-19 Plan for the community services sector (April 2020) and is intended to support updates to your existing business continuity planning.

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.

Victorian neighbourhood house sector guidance

The neighbourhood house sector provides services to many vulnerable Victorians. People who are disadvantaged or vulnerable may be especially impacted by the current pandemic due to their lack of personal, social and financial resources.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) plan for the Victorian neighbourhood house sector has been developed to assist the sector to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19). It is supplemented by new Guidance for the Victorian neighbourhood house sector for coronavirus (COVID-19).

More information on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on this site.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Home Stretch initiative – information for workers