Governance is about the structures, processes and proceedures that you need to run a care farm or green care service.
Legal structures are how the law will see your organisation, for example as a charity, a sole trader or Community Interest Company. Legal structures mean your organisation is more formal and has a robust legal structure. The majority of care farms are formed into a legal corporation.
To choose the right type of legal structure for your care farm, you will need to think about:
What you're going to be doing
Who is controlling the organisation
Finance, income and what you'll be doing with any profit
What you'll do with your assets if you need to close
Organisational types are how your organisation is set up internally. For example, you could be organised as a social enterprise, a co-operative or a community or voluntary group.
Organisations usually include the following:
A governing body at the top which makes decisions and runs the organisation - it's usually at least three people including a chair, a treasurer and a secretary
Governing documents - explain why your organisation exists, how you do things and how you make decisions (seen by people outside your organisation)
Members - all the people that belong to your organisation including team and service users, volunteers, supporters and general community
Good governance and being a recognised legal entity are important because:
It's good practice for an organisation delivering comissioned services to people with a defined need to have robust, legal governance
Legal entities mean there is clear accountability for the operation
The type of governance that you choose can affect funding from different sources, commissioners and referral routes
If you'd like to find out more, our Green Care Quality Markcovers governance as part of running a responsible care farm.