Care for troubled kids in the Dutch countryside

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at

Care farms are becoming increasingly popular in The Netherlands. Dutch child care services place kids who have mental or physical problems and can’t stay at home with foster families on these farms. The kids are able to learn life skills in an open and relatively carefree environment.

Attsje de Vries and her husband Thomas run a care farm in a small village in the northern province of Friesland. Since 2001, they have provided care to 75 children and teenagers. They have two children of their own, but they’re currently providing a home to six other children as well.