Measuring care farming can be complex, but it's good practice to show the impact of positive change on clients, referrers and care farming teams over time.
Wherever you are in your measurement journey as a care farmer, measuring change can add to important ongoing sector conversations about how, what and why change happens.
Measurement allows us to understand, strengthen and show the impact of care farming, and it also ensures accountablity to stakeholders.
Whatever type of care farming or green care activities you run, there are some fundamental parts of measurement that should be in place for it to work well.
Sarah Giles, former Director of FarmAbility outlined the basics of measurement as:
Ensuring three stages of measurement - pre-assessment gathering of data, post-assessment after intervention and follow up after another period of intervention
Monitoring and evaluation - gathering data on a regular basis and also stopping to evaluate and analyse data at a point in time
Making sure that whatever measurement you choose matches the avaliable capacity and recources you have
Being mindful of attribution - it's unwise to make expansive claims. However, there is plenty of robust research and evidence that support the benefits of programmes of green care activity. If you're doing something similar and see similar results, you can be confident that a strong connection between change and intervention is likely
Putting clients at the heart of your measurement - the more you know the better you can design your measurement
Making sure your whole team are engaged and involved in the measurement process.