A core principle of social farming is that it is person-centred, that everyone is an individual first and foremost, regardless of why they have chosen to take part in social farming or what their challenges in life are. However, we can also improve practice and support people more effectively if we distinguish between and understand more about the different target groups who spend time on social farms.
The guides are designed to provide farmers and course instructors (that train practitioners) with insights and learning on many aspects of social farming with people with a range of backgrounds, needs, challenges and perspectives.
We hope that these Guides will support you in engaging more confidently and effectively with existing or new target groups on your or your student`s farm. All documents are available as publisher files as well. This way teachers can add own content if needed.
Guides for Farmers
These PowerPoint Presentations give an insight into social farming with specific target groups. Students will get an overview of target groups, general characteristics and needs that might come with a disability or specific circumstances in life. On top of that, the benefits social farming has for specific groups are looked at. While the core offering may be the same and people will experience many benefits and outcomes in common, there are clearly differences between the support needs, activities, approach required, challenges, etc. in working with different groups. The presentations give practical advice about how to involve different target groups in farming activities and how to create a secure and barrier-free environment for different target groups. The presentations complement the textbook “Social Work in Farming”. They include suggestions for discussions and exercises. The Presentations can be combined and added to fit the needs of every lecturer.
This study is looking at specific target groups of social farming. 45 social farmers, social workers, supervisors and other practitioners working in social farming, working at social farms in the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic and Ireland, have been interviewed to get a deeper insight into the work with different target groups. Also, participatory observations were realized to get a better understanding of the participant’s perspective. Seven target groups of social farming (refugees, people with intellectual disabilities, people with mental health challenges, people with physical disabilities, young people at risk, people in recovery from addiction, older people) have been looked at.
What effects does farming have on their well-being? Are there any unique features (special benefits, specific activities, challenges) when looking at a specific target group? What are the key competencies of the social farmers and what role do they have towards participants? These questions have been answered in the research report.
Through interviews and participant observation, the SoFARTEAM-Project has gathered extensive learning and insight from experienced social farmers and support workers in health, social care etc. on working with specific target groups. In this textbook, it combines this with the latest academic research and learning and the expertise of the Project partners. The textbook addresses a range of important questions when it comes to working with various target groups in social farming:
What are the specific characteristics and needs of individual target groups?
How can the participants benefit from their time on the farm?
How can farmers make the best use of their particular agricultural environment to promote the development of their participants?
What activities and approaches work best with each target group?
What are the challenges which may be experienced in working with specific groups and how can conflicts be addressed?
What can farmers expect from the collaboration?
In addition to the chapters on specific target groups, there are several more general or cross-cutting chapters which cover topics such as an introduction to social farming, social farming theories, requirements for social farming and social farming in practice.
The Pedagogical Guide gives ideas on how to elaborate the Abstracts according to the teachers and institutional needs into full and practical teaching material that is competency-based and is consistent with the Curriculum and the Quality Standards for teaching social farming.
The Abstract Book aims at supporting people – specifically those who wish to create programmes and courses in Higher Education on Social Farming. This Abstract Book should be used in conjunction with the Pedagogical Guide and the Textbook.