Topic: First experience of care farming in Poland
Keywords: care farms, green care, social farming, farm diversification, vocational reorientation
The text describes research results and evaluation of the first successful experiment in care farming in Poland which provides day care for elderly and dependent people. By the end of 2018, in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian region, it participated in a different dimension of more than 20 farm-care farms, and about 250 people were covered by the care. In 2019, another 15 carers enter other places in the region (for next over 200 beneficiaries). In this case, the key is the use of the competence of members of traditional families – multigenerational farms. On the one hand, undertaking caring activities is a form of diversification of economic activity for farms, while farm owners make a professional reorientation. In this way, elderly and dependent people from increasingly depopulated rural areas find an alternative and cheaper form of care than in the classical public system. The aging process of the Polish society is progressing so fast that every form of support for care for the elderly helps to solve this problem, but a number of formal problems arise. Care farms do not have a formal status and can not use public funds. They also do not have legal regulations for public social assistance. The provision of care services by farmers gives undeniable benefits to both farmers and beneficiaries of assistance and their families. Lack of legal regulations and lack of experience in Poland are today the main barriers to their development. The text presents both a description of the problems of social farming in Poland, including mainly care farms and over two years of experience of farm owners and their beneficiaries. The text also includes the position of the representatives of Ministries responsible for health and agriculture as well as local and regional social care services.