Change & Resilience during COVID-19

Published June 2021

Throughout 2020, CISVic member agencies were at the frontline working to support people in need.  With rapidly changing restrictions, a significant loss of volunteers, and new cohorts of people needing their services, agencies demonstrated great flexibility and commitment to finding new ways of assisting people.

As the pandemic continues, one thing is certain – our member agencies will persist in responding to need as it presents in their local communities. Our new report highlights the value of the work that agencies do by providing ongoing tailored support in times of great need.

Click here to read a copy of our report: Summary, Full Report, Accessible Summary.


Published June 2021

Emergency Relief (ER) plays a critical role for many people in meeting their basic needs, however little is known about the breadth, diversity and responsiveness of this sector, especially during a global pandemic.

Produced by CISVic, this report, like the report below, More than a band-aid: Emergency Relief in Victoria, draws from existing research and consultation with our members and other emergency relief organisations, providing an overview of the emergency relief sector in Victoria. This report highlights the importance of case management and empowerment models in ER services that support people to not only survive in the short term, but get back on their feet and flourish.

Published June 2021

CISVic and our member agencies play a significant role in the Victorian Emergency Relief (ER) sector to provide critical financial and material aid to people in need.

Produced in partnership with VCOSS, this report provides an overview of the sector and its experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency relief can take many forms, including bill payment, vouchers, clothes, furniture, and food. It is often supplemented with broader support and referral to other services. 

The coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions in 2020 and 2021 imposed a significant toll on the health and wellbeing of a vast range of Victorians.

As a result, many Victorians sought emergency relief for the first time, leaving emergency relief organisations facing overwhelming demand.

The pandemic has highlighted the critical role the emergency relief sector plays in supporting the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable Victorians, and the role it plays in supporting a range of Victorians during a disaster or crisis. But it also exposed the sector’s fragility.

This report, drawn from existing research and consultation with emergency relief organisations, provides an overview of the emergency relief sector in Victoria.

It examines the impacts of the pandemic on the emergency relief sector, and on demand and provision of food relief – as well as the policy responses we’ve seen from both the Federal and Victorian Government.

Finally, the report provides a range of recommendations for both the Federal and Victorian Government to help prevent people falling into financial crisis, and to strengthen the emergency relief sector for the benefit of those who do.


The Stress, the Strain, the Pain: The impact of school costs on families and the CISVic sector

Published May 2020

Extract: Many of our local centres have been inundated with requests for assistance with childrens' school expenses, espcially over the Christmas holiday period but also throughout the year. This has bcome the 'number one' advocacy issue for CISVic, to campaign for school costs to be more reasonable and affordable. To get a more accurate picture of this situation, a survey of people seeking assistance from member agencies who have dependent children, was carried out from November 2019 to February 2020. A staggering 84% of those families needed assistance due to school costs.

Snapshort report: The Stress, the Strain, the Pain