SF&G Code of Practice for Care Farming Services

SF&G care farming Code of Practice

At SF&G we are not only passionate about care farming and green care, but are committed to maintaining high quality service provision across the sector.

One of the roles of Social Farms & Gardens is to promote care farming as a quality service provision in health & social care and specialist education and to support farms and gardens delivering these services. We are therefore proud to offer the SF&G Code of Practice to our members.

This page describes the care farming Code of Practice process and explains how to apply.

What is the Code of Practice for?

The Code of Practice is intended to provide commissioners, clients and other authorities with a degree of quality assurance and to raise the profile of the care farming sector in the UK. Developed by a team of care farmers and other specialists, the Code was trialled by a range of care farming practitioners and is essentially a set of minimum standards, which we encourage all those providing care farming services to adopt (including farm and garden sites delivering other green care services such as Social &Therapeutic Horticulture (STH)  and Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT)).

Please follow this link to find out how to apply for the Code of Practice or renew your access to the Code.

What does the Code of Practice process involve?

The quality of services delivered is assured through a process of self-assessment. The Code is divided into three sections as an aid to grouping the issues and evidence:

  • We run a responsible service
  • We care about the people we work with
  • Our site is a safe place to be.

Applicants are sent a self-assessment form to complete and return, together with a copy of their Service Level or Client Agreement and a copy of their safeguarding policy (adult or child as appropriate). After checking that all sections are completed and that payment has been received (see 'How to apply' below), this information is forwarded to the panel of experts for assessement.

Applicants may be asked to provide further clarification or more information (e.g. copies of additional policies for inspection) and once all requested additional information has been received and assessed, applicants will be notified of the panel's decision.

At the end of the first and second years after approval, organisations are asked to confirm that they still meet the standards and to report any changes or challenges they have faced and overcome in order to continue meeting the Code and at the end of the third year, a fresh application will need to be submitted to the panel for review.

SF&G members that have met the Code standard are provided with the Code of Practice logo for use on their own promotional material and websites, and are included in a searchable list on the SF&G website to which commissioners and clients seeking care farming services are directed.

The annual access fee for the Code of Practice is currently £60 (payable on initial application and each for subsequent year of Code renewal).

Feedback from the field

"Completing the Code of Practice highlighted a number of areas that we needed to tighten up on but also identified the areas of care farming that we were doing really well! A worthwhile process and the badge has been used numerous times in funding bids!"
Densholme Care Farm, N Yorks

"Care farming colleagues who have applied the Code of Practice to their work give us added confidence that they are professional and represent care farming as a positive, quality service.” 
Magdalen Environmental Trust, Somerset

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