After completing high school adults with special needs are cut loose from public programs. They have no where to go and little to do. The Restoration Farm is standing in to become an employment training location so that adults with special needs can come and learn valuable job skills in order to qualify for a paying position in the community.
- To create and maintain an agricultural learning center/vocational training site for adults with special needs. Groups from different nonprofits which support the community of special needs will schedule times to learn employment skills in a beautiful agricultural setting.
Adults with Disabilities Deserve More Independence
All parents want to see their children grow to the point of independence. It’s no different for parents who have a child with special needs. The Harford County school system provides a useful context for some of these children, along with other specialized schools. But what happens when the child becomes an adult?
Once a child with special needs leaves the school system the county government has fulfilled its obligations and has nothing else to offer. Parents struggle with managing a daily schedule for both their adult child with special needs, and continuing on in their responsibilities at work. Where can help be found?
Over the years different nonprofit organizations have been created to help stand in the gap during those day time hours when parents are at work. The Arc of the Northern Chesapeake Region, The Harford Center, and Karina Association are a few of the worthy local organizations which provide day time programs for adults with special needs.
Employment Provides More Independence
The ability to earn a wage, even from a part time job, empowers adults with disabilities to have purpose and independence in life. While not all adults with disabilities are able to work, those who can work frequently lack the support network they need to find a job.
The Restoration Farm Provides an Employment Training Ground
The Restoration Farm provides an onsite location for work groups from Special Needs Associations to come and work on their vocational skills. These groups come to learn the skills necessary to qualify for paid employment. Groups perform farm tasks such as working in the garden, cleaning the house, and working with the livestock. The beautiful setting of the farm, combined with these work activities are intended to encourage the workers that they can reach new heights and enjoy greater fulfillment in life through the possibility of paid employment.
We’ve been having weekly groups come to the farm for a few years now. We’ve had dozens of groups come in order to learn employment skills. We’re working on grant writing in order to properly fund this program. We also continue to develop our own training curriculum for this program.