CARE-T-FARMs is an EU funded projects through the Erasmus + programme. It launched in November 2017. The basis for the project is the use of farms as places to promote positive mental and physical health and wellbeing. Social or care faming is based on the principal of using the farm setting as a place to provide social support services and to educate people. Social or care faming is suitable for all ages and it is associated with a range of benefits, including increased self-esteem and feelings of inclusion, as well as improved health and wellbeing. Social or care farms are typical working farms rather than specialized treatment farms. In that sense, social farming is an interesting example of multifunctional farming. Typical activities associated with social farming include horticulture, animal assisted activities (AAA) and traditional food processing.
The project consortium will examine best practices in social or care farming from Poland, Italy, Turkey and Spain. They will combine the best practices from all over Europe, with theoretical knowledge about the optimum ways to run a social or care farm. Three education and training modules will then be developed as outputs from the project, each with their own target audience. They will be in line with different levels of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) according to their different expected learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences.
- The "Care Farm Tutor" module will be aimed at farmers, farm workers and secondary school students. It aims to give a basic understanding to learners of the day-to-day activities associated with tutoring people on farm activities in a social or care farm setting. This module corresponds to EQF level 3/4.
- The "Care Farm Manager" module is directed towards farmers who have experience in hosting people on their farms and in being part of teaching activities. It will give these farmers a detailed understanding of planning care fam activities on their farms, with a strong focus on suitability and accessibility for all participants. This module corresponds of EQF level 4/5.
- The "Care Farm Social/Health Educator" module is designed for social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists who have experience in therapeutic help and assistance. This module will provide specialist knowledge on planning social or care farm courses as an extra-clinical treatment or intervention. This level is in line with EQF level 5/6.
These modules should provide farm workers, farmers and practitioners from social care and psychiatry with the necessary tools to allow for good design and implementation of social or care farming all over Europe. With access to this type of training, we envisage that the uptake of social or care farming will increase and that understanding of the practice will become more widespread. Greater uptake of social farming should also contribute to employment in the so called “green economy”.
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CARE-T-FARMS: Care Activities Raising Employment and Training on Farm Adaptation to Responsible and Mental-health Services (2017-1-PL01-KA202-038380)