Prince Albert HUB program temporarily suspended

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education met for the first time in the 2023-2024 school year on Monday at the Education Centre.

A program that assists students in need in Prince Albert is being temporarily suspended.

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education was informed of the decision to suspend the HUB program during their regular meeting on Monday.

Superintendent Charity Dmytruk said the Hub Steering Committee made the decision on Oct. 22.

“It is due to human resource challenges that agencies at the table are facing. There is a commitment to consider reinstating the Hub if and when these challenges change for these agencies,” Dmytruk explained.

“We do suspect it will remain for the duration of this school year (and) be revisited again next school year,” she added.

The agenda package included a letter from steering committee chair Scott Hayes of the Prince Albert Police Service. In the letter, Hayes wrote that the Ministry of Social Services and Prince Albert Police Service faced internal resource challenges, which led to the two agencies withdrawing.

“The HUB has played a pivotal role in our community and I want to extend my sincere gratitude for your organizations valuable contributions and dedication from the inception of this program,” the letter reads. “Your commitments not only initiated the program but also set the tone for a national movement toward community safety and well-being.”

Hayes encouraged Hub membership to keep communication open because input and feedback can help make the HUB more effective in the future.

Trustee and vice chair Pat Hordyski said that he was disappointed by the news.

“We utilized (the HUB) for a number of years and they have done a lot of good work in our schools, so I’m really disappointed,” Hordyski said. “Based on what we did in Prince Albert, they tried to roll out across the province. They kind of went by the wayside and we kind of hung in in PA. That’s really sad to hear about.”

HUB is a proactive multi-agency inter-ministerial team designed to mobilize services to an individual or their families. The hub provides immediate, coordinated response to mitigate the elevated risk to reduce harm, crime and victimization. The goal is to help students who need support for things happening outside of school.

Meetings took place at the Prince Albert Police Service downtown substation each week. Connections to those in need of service typically occur Thursday afternoon.

Partners included both school divisions, PAPS, RCMP, the Ministry of Social Services (Child Protection Unit) and Mobile Crisis.

“The agencies worked really hard to keep it as long as they could,” Dmytruk said. “They reduced it down to one day for the last school year and then at the end of this school year, May, they had to suspend it, they figured, just until summer. Then when we met again, the situation had not changed with the different agencies.”

Administrators make HUB referrals when the issues facing students go beyond the scope of the school and there are several risk factors indicate the probability of some type of harm occurring.

The HUB idea was brought in by former Prince Albert police chief Dale McFee.

HUB is for students and families who are not connected to services but are facing risks of harm. A referral can also be made for families that have multi-agency needs that have not been addressed.

The first step in the HUB referral process is that staff and administration exhaust all services and connections to help mitigate the risk. The second step sees the superintendent or designate informed that a referral is being made.

Hordyski made the motion to receive as information, which was seconded by trustee Darryl Sande who added that he did that reluctantly. The motion then carried unanimously.