£24,000 over three years
Dandelion Time works with vulnerable and disadvantaged children aged 7-16 who are experiencing serious emotional and behavioural difficulties, arising from traumatic events such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
Based on a farm near Maidstone in Kent, they deliver therapeutic and educational programmes to help children overcome their difficulties, which have often led to school exclusion, family breakdown or anti-social behaviour and crime.
Children care for the farm’s animals and gardens, take part in natural crafts including woodwork, creative expressive activities such as art, and cook using food they have grown on the farm. Dandelion’s Time’s purpose is to support them to overcome past suffering, develop in confidence and self-esteem and be better equipped to engage positively with school, at home and in the community. We also introduce 200+ disadvantaged school children to farm activities, including growing and harvesting and cooking with fresh food.
Dandelion Time – Summary Report Apr 2014
Who are they
Dandelion time provide a farm-based therapeutic programme with children experiencing serious emotional and behavioural difficulties, involving crafts, animal care, gardening, outdoor and creative activities alongside one-to-one support.
What they delivered
12 children aged 7-16, facing multiple and complex emotional difficulties related to trauma or abuse and distressing backgrounds were provided with additional support of at least 5 weeks beyond an initial 10 week placement.
- 1 excluded child was successfully supported to enter specialist education. 8 became more settled and were managing better in school. (75%)
- 10 children (83%) gained improved emotional wellbeing with improvements ranging from 10-50%.
- All 12 children improved their ability to relate to others around them, forming friendships on the farm and working together on projects and activities.
- The majority of children were seen to improve their communication skills and become more empathetic.
- 11 of the parents/carers (92%) reported that the relationship with their child had improved by an average of 30%.
- 11 children (92%) felt that they had happier and more stable home lives.
- Seven out of 12 children (58%) showed some engagement with new interests or hobbies.
Dandelion Time has worked with 59 referred children and families in the period of their report, alongside specialist volunteers and sessional therapists generating the following: 60 child/family support sessions, One to one therapies, Home-based assessments and support, Participation in case meetings and reviews with external professionals from statutory services.
Many children learnt how to express their feelings in a non-destructive way and have developed good peer-relationships through group-work. The additional support provided has helped to bring further benefits to children and families in most need, embedding and building on the positive changes.
Individual session records are completed daily to monitor achievement of goals and outcomes for the child and family.
Changes in each child’s interaction with carers, staff and volunteers are observed and recorded together with feedback and comments from parents and children to assess the change in the child and impact of the intervention.
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQs) are completed at the start and end of their programme by parents and professionals working with the child. As not all SDQs have yet been returned by families and professionals for the group reported on, the full range of outcome data from these is yet to be analysed.
Policies & Procedures include Child Protection, Risk Management, Health & Safety and Complaints and are reviewed regularly with input from the whole team.
Dandelion Time’s approach has been recognised by Kent County Council’s ‘Benchmark for scoring impact of preventative services’ and achieved a 100% score.
Being able to do, and allowed to do, hands-on activities at Dandelion boosted his confidence. Before coming to Dandelion he felt he was rubbish at most things.