People with a disability can now spend subsidy on ‘green care’


The government of Flanders is opening up the use of subsidies for the disabled to ‘green care’, which gives people the opportunity to take part in the daily activities of farms across the region

Home away from home

Flemish welfare minister Jo Vandeurzen has announced that people with a disability in Flanders can now use their personal budgets allocated by the government for care to take part in “green care” initiatives. Green care refers to assistance offered at care farms, children’s farms or animal shelters.

As  part of an ongoing reform of the system of care for those with a disability, 30,000 adults now receive funding with which they can organise their own care and support. The reform is gradually shifting the management of government subsidies from care organisations to people with a disability and their caregivers.

There are hundreds of initiatives in Flanders offering green care, primarily care farms, which allow people with a disability to take part in a farm’s daily activities such as caring for animals and working in vegetable gardens. The Flemish government has detailed the conditions that must be met in order to be officially recognised as green care.

“Working with animals or helping on a farm allows those with a disability to take part in a useful activity in a healthy working environment,” said Flemish MP Tine van der Vloet, an expert on the topic. “They can find an outlet there outside of their house or the centre where they stay.”

Photo courtesy ZZG Zorggroep