What is the Participation for CALD Seniors Grants Program?

The Participation for CALD Seniors Grants Program offers small grants to organisations to create or expand community participation opportunities for socially isolated culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) seniors.

Evidence shows that older people from culturally diverse backgrounds are often at a higher risk of social isolation due to a range of factors, including language needs, cultural differences, limited mobility, poor health, lack of confidence and knowledge of what is available.

Grants of up to $10,000 are available.

What is CALD?

CALD is a description of communities with diverse languages, ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, dress, traditions, food, societal structures, art and religion.

For this grants program, the focus is on culturally diverse seniors from migrant and refugee backgrounds, particularly from non-English speaking backgrounds.

What is social isolation?

A socially isolated person is someone who is not regularly participating in any groups or activities outside their home and who finds it difficult to join in social activities, and experiences lower quality of life as a result.

The reasons for this could be varied and include limited language proficiency, mobility and transport, functional health, life transitions events and role changes.

What are community participation opportunities?

Community participation opportunities are activities and the provision of assistance (for example, transport, social activities, education sessions) that help culturally diverse seniors to stay connected to others, thereby improving their health and wellbeing.

What kind of projects will be funded?

This grants program will fund a range of projects which identify socially isolated culturally diverse seniors and assist them to engage in their communities either through existing or new support networks and activities.

All projects must show that they were designed to respond to social isolation within their senior culturally diverse community.

The project may include the development of partnerships to deliver better outcomes for the target culturally diverse community, or it may be simply addressing what is lacking in terms of community participation opportunities for the target group.

It is important that applications tell us about:

  • The project, including a full description of the activities planned to engage the socially isolated culturally diverse seniors
  • The target group, including their ethnicity and cultural background, details of the area in which you will run your project (by local government area), a description of the culturally diverse community and proportion of older people in the culturally diverse community
  • How you have come to be aware that some of the senior culturally diverse community are either at risk, or currently experiencing social isolation
  • How the culturally diverse community was consulted
  • What (if any) partnerships you will develop in order to deliver the project
  • How you plan to continue the project after the funding ends (particularly for applications seeking a grant in category B).

Can the grant be used to expand or support existing projects?

Yes, but only when it is clear that the projects will involve isolated people who are not currently able to participate in activities. For example, projects might find ways to bring back members who have moved into residential care or who have stopped coming because they have become isolated at home.

Grant categories

Grants will be awarded for projects of 12 months in duration, commencing 1 October 2018 and concluding 30 September 2019.

There are two categories of grants:

  • Grants up to $5,000 are available for projects that aim to increase the participation of isolated seniors in activities at ethnic and multicultural clubs/groups, and
  • Grants up to $10,000 are available for more complex projects that work to reduce isolation by creating partnerships between organisations or developing the capacity and skills of the isolated seniors participating in the project.

Key priorities

The department has identified a number of priorities that it is seeking to address through this grant round. Projects that will be delivered in an area with:

  • low socio-economic population (based on SEIFA data) (low socio-economic status is an indicator for social isolation)
  • high ageing culturally diverse population and high numbers of single persons households in the culturally diverse population (based on ABS data)
  • culturally diverse communities with lower English language proficiency levels within their older population
  • projects that assist culturally diverse senior migrant communities from small new and emerging communities
  • projects that work in partnership with other organisations to strengthen the sustainability of the project and enhance the outcomes for those involved
  • a strong existing relationship of trust with the members of the community they aim to involve.

This is a competitive grants program and not all eligible applications will be funded.

What will not be funded?

The grants will not fund:

  • ongoing operational costs (for example, salaries for ongoing positions, insurance, rent and utilities)
  • projects that begin before 1 October 2018
  • projects requiring ongoing funding from the Victorian Government
  • projects already receiving Victorian Government funding for that activity
  • interstate or overseas trips
  • one-off activities or festivals, other than as one of several methods to engage new members in existing groups.

Who is eligible to apply?

Any incorporated organisation is eligible to apply. Incorporation status must be up to date. Any partnership of incorporated and non-incorporated organisations, where an incorporated organisation takes the lead or manages the funds may also apply. Organisations must have current Public Liability Insurance of at least $5 million.

Contact the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) for help to find a potential partner organisation.

Organisations that have applied for this program in the past are welcome to apply again for new projects.

Only one application can be accepted for each organisation. Multiple applications will not be accepted.

Reporting requirements

Grant recipients are required to submit a short project completion report using a report template by 18 October 2019.

ECCV support

The ECCV has been funded as a program partner. They will give advice and support to:

  • organisations wishing to apply for a grant
  • grant recipients as they manage their projects and meet their reporting requirements.

For help and resources to complete an application contact ECCV on (03) 9354 9555 for support.