Care farms offer calming and supportive spaces for young people who may struggle with learning.
On a care farm, young people can improve their health and wellbeing or gain qualifications and skills. For some young people, care farming can be a path back to mainstream education.
Over half of UK care farms work with young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and learning difficulties or as part of Alternative Provision. Around 40% of UK care farms work with under 18s with learning disabilities, mental ill health or physical disabilities.
"We have found that care farming is a really effective service for those who perhaps struggle with schooling, because it offers them an opportunity to do something different to academics, it's that hands-on work and sense of purpose."
Emma Thomas - Bridge School, Malvern
Young people can be referred to care farms by schools, local authorities, parents or other agencies.
Referrals can be for many different reasons, including learning difficulties, a disability, behavioural challenges or mental ill health.
Referrals to care farms can be part of SEND, part of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or as Alternative Education Provision.