Cafs Care Farm is based in Springmount, Western Victoria and is a therapeutic environment taking care of people in need.

Our Care Farm is about helping people feel well, and stay well.

Cafs is a registered charity providing vital services to families, helping them face all of life's challenges.

About


The Cafs Care Farm is a therapeutic environment.

The Care Farm provides health, social and educational care services for at-risk and vulnerable people through supervised, structured programs. Cafs Care Farm offers a range of activities for groups or individuals, all of which are designed to help develop confidence and to deliver improved wellbeing.

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What is
Care
Farming?


Care farming is the well-recognised practice of utilising the natural environment, the landscape, farming practices and engagement with plants and animals as part of a comprehensive plan to support positive wellbeing and mental health.

Care farms throughout the world provide health, social and educational care services for individuals from one or a range of vulnerable groups. This can include people with mental health problems, people suffering from mild to moderate depression, adults and children with learning disabilities, children with autism, those with a drug or alcohol addiction history, disaffected young people and adults, and people on probation.

Care farming harnesses elements known as ‘green-care’ - where therapies can include increased engagement with the outdoors and the natural world.

The Cafs Care Farm is a vital and necessary service for our community, as Cafs recognises that there are distinct benefits from a combination of access to the natural environment, meaningful activities, social interaction, exercise and working with animals.

"There is a growing body of evidence that supports the effectiveness of animal assisted interventions and the benefits of contact with nature." - Allan Joy, CEO

Our
Programs


Cafs is already well known for providing comprehensive services to support the wellbeing of those who are most at-risk in our community.

At the Care Farm we aim to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for a range of vulnerable people, as well as their families and their wider community. This will include offering a wide selection of our current and new services on location at the Care Farm in Springmount.

Today our work at the Care Farm includes:

  • Provision of space for our therapeutic counsellors, psychologists and social workers who guide and support those challenged by family-related issues.

  • Integration of our animal-assisted therapy programs into a natural, calming environment.

  • Transitional support programs for at-risk young people, training them in different life skills to better equip them for a successful life.

This is the first step on our care farm journey.


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The Local
Need


There are many more steps yet to be taken. We are rigorously planning the evolution of our services and programs we will offer at the Care Farm, with a view to closely linking our clients and their families to different elements of the Farm itself.

The community within the Ballarat region needs our support. Notification of cases to child protection services nationally has steadily increased from 33.8 per 1,000 in 2011-12 to 42.0 per 1,000 in 2015-16. In Victoria alone, over 14,800 children were found to be harmed or at risk of harm from abuse and/or neglect (2015-16). Violence in the home is of substantial concern in our region. School engagement and completion remains a significant local challenge.

We will take an evidence-based approach at the Cafs Care Farm. Our experienced teams will see children and their families through their respective challenges using structured techniques to support them through tough times.

Support Cafs
Care Farm


Operating a farm environment is a costly endeavour. Operating a farm that provides necessary relief and therapeutic benefits to at-risk and vulnerable people is even more expensive.

We need your help to keep our farm gates open to those who need us most.

Donations, sponsorship and in-kind support will help us to continue to provide services, to develop new and innovative activities, and to support the living costs of our farm animals.

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Contact


Cafs Care Farm is an initiative of Cafs Ballarat. Cafs is a not-for-profit community service organisation that provides a range of programs and services to children, young people and families who are vulnerable or in need of support.

Ludbrook House
115 Lydiard Street North
Ballarat 3350