2024 Care Farming Services for Children

July 29 - August 02 (Ages 5 - 10)
August 05 - August 09 (Ages 11 - 14)
August 12 - August 16 (CASA Week*)

Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 3 PM

Hillside Farms' Care Farming Services provides a compassionate and healing space for children facing the difficult challenges of trauma. Since 2013, it has been a beacon of hope to the region's children from ages 6 to 14, especially those dealing with various forms of trauma, including the painful loss of family members or challenging circumstances within their homes.

Addressing the trauma, a recent Center for Disease Control report on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is emphasized here. According to extensive research, damaging experiences may involve violence, abuse, or growing up in a household affected by mental health issues or substance dependencies. Trauma is not a fleeting affliction but leaves lasting effects on a child's brain development and coping mechanisms.

However, recovery is indeed possible, and the Care Farming Services at Hillside Farms offer a structured yet compassionate route towards healing. This comprehensive, evidence-based program offers children the opportunity to interact with mental health professionals, trauma counselors, and occupational therapists. Children also engage in age-appropriate farm-based activities, creating a bond of shared experience and understanding with likewise affected peers. Moreover, each day includes grief education sessions and emotional support activities tailored to the children's individual needs, while respecting their individual pace and comfort zones in group activities.

Learn more details (PDF)

Care Farming Services accommodates 15 children per camp, ensuring a close-knit and supportive environment. Each week-long experience concludes with a symbolic closing ceremony at the Children's Memory Garden, succeeded by a touching Butterfly release. Hillside Farms accepts required online referrals from parents and professionals, including guidance counselors, teachers, social workers, case workers, or therapists. Preference is given to children who have not previously participated in Hillside's Care Farming Services. Confidential pre and post surveys are conducted with parents or guardians to ensure the child's well-being and gauge the program's impact.

Hillside Farms is thankful for the generosity of donors who enable this unique service, contributing to the healing of young lives navigating through the difficult storms of trauma. For more information, please email Suzanne Kapral at suzanne@hillsidefarms.org.

To complete an online referral form please visit our JotForm form.

**CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children. To learn more please visit luzernecasa.org.