No single agency or service provider has all the information, resources or expertise they need to respond effectively to the complex social issues facing many individuals and families. Within the context of a Hub Table, a team of relevant professionals may be allowed to share information about specific cases that they otherwise could not.
A Hub Table is team of people from various government ministries and community agencies. They meet weekly to address specific situations involving individuals and/or families who have a significant probability of experiencing harm if they do not receive some type of intervention. The team works collaboratively to develop immediate, co-ordinated and integrated responses by mobilizing existing resources with the intent of reducing risk in a timely manner, usually within 24 to 48 hours.
Professionals from a variety of human service backgrounds sit at Hub Tables. Police officers, teachers, social workers and youth workers are just a few examples of the kinds of professionals that might participate. During a Hub Table meeting, participants work together to review situations of acutely elevated risk to determine if an individual or family meets the criteria for imminent risk of harm and victimization. Following their review, the Hub Table team will co-ordinate interventions as necessary.
By addressing situations of acutely elevated risk, the Hub Table works collaboratively to reduce the risk factors that may increase the likelihood that someone will experience harm and victimization.
There are currently 14 Hub Tables (serving 15 communities) operating throughout Saskatchewan:
1. Acutely Elevated Risk
Hub Tables address situations of acutely elevated risk. In a situation of acutely elevated risk, there is significant probability that an individual will experience harm of significant intensity if there is no intervention. These harms are likely to cause the individual to become involved with different agencies across the human service sector. For example, an individual who is simultaneously at risk of becoming involved with police, needs emergency health care and also requires social services intervention may be considered to be at an acutely elevated risk level.
2. Information-Sharing and Privacy
Information-sharing is critical to the success of Hub Tables. In order for a Hub to become directly involved with an individual or family, the Hub Table representatives must all agree that there is a reasonable expectation that harm could occur and that support is needed from more than one agency in order to reduce the risk. If the situation is not considered high risk, no further information will be shared.
The basic operating principle of a Hub Table is to only disclose or share the minimum amount of information that is necessary between agencies. Information is only shared if it is relevant, and it is only shared between the agencies involved in each situation. Empowered with the necessary information, the relevant agencies can then collaborate to provide coordinated services.
All organizations that are involved in the Hub process sign information sharing agreements allowing them to share information and ensure that information is protected. Each Hub representative signs confidentiality agreements, ensuring that they will not share information they hear at the Hub Table.
To ensure Hubs are protecting individuals' and family privacy, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General developed a working group to review and recommend improvements on information sharing between agencies. This group reviewed provincial and federal privacy legislation. From this review, the group developed a set of regulations that allows for the disclosure of personal information for the purposes of carrying out coordinated services.
More information is available about information sharing agreements.
The Four-Filter Process
Hub Tables use a four-filter process to determine if individual cases meet the acutely elevated risk threshold, to guide decision-making regarding whether or not to share private and confidential information, and to determine if collaborative intervention is necessary to mitigate risk. These filters are as follows:
Filter 1: Home Agency Screening
- Agencies identify people who may benefit from contact with a Hub Table.
- Information is brought to the Hub Table once the agency has determined:
- that the risk factors are beyond their scope/mandate to mitigate alone;
- the situation crosses multiple human service disciplines;
- all traditional approaches have been exhausted; and
- the situation meets the requirements for discussion.
Filter 2: De-Identified Discussion
- The initial discussion at the Hub Table is limited to de-identified information.
- The agency describes the risk factors in generic terms so the Hub Table representatives can assess if the situation meets the threshold of acutely elevated risk.
- If the situation is deemed to meet the threshold of acutely elevated risk, it moves on to filter three.
- If the threshold of acutely elevated risk is not met, the situation is not opened at the Hub Table.
Filter 3: Identifiable Discussion
- Limited personal information is shared to help determine if other agencies are involved with the individual or family.
- If an agency has information to share with respect to the individual/family, they disclose this information in order to help determine if they have a role to play in offering assistance and support.
- The lead agency and supporting agencies can now move to filter four.
Filter 4: Intervention Planning
- Only three or four agencies typically remain at this level of the discussion; other agencies will be eliminated if they do not have a relevant role.
- At the Hub meeting, the agencies identified in filter three will share relevant and detailed information about the individual or family with the Hub Table.
- They will then meet with the client and offer to connect them with services that will reduce the acutely elevated risk.
The members remaining at filter four report back to the larger table after they have offered services to the client. The group collectively determines if sufficient steps have been taken to mitigate the acutely elevated risk. If so, they close the discussion. This is once again done through limited and de-identified information sharing.
Note: At any stage, the four-filter process can be stopped if it is deemed that the situation no longer meets the criteria for acutely elevated risk.
3. Finding Help and Getting Involved
If you or someone you know is experiencing a state of acutely elevated risk and needs help getting connected to supports and services, please email email@example.com to find out if the Hub team can help you.
Community Safety and Well-being
You can also fill out our referral form.
In the case of an emergency, please call 911.
The majority of Hub Tables meet weekly to address situations of acutely elevated levels of risk. For further information on how to become involved, please contact:
Community Safety and Well-Being
4. Further Information
The Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) division of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Corrections and Policing is the driving force behind the Hub Table initiative. They partner with communities across Saskatchewan to provide a variety of supports in the area of community safety and well-being, planning and development. Their focus is on working with community leaders and various levels of government in the interest of collaboration, information sharing and success measurement to ensure success in local planning. They provide tools and resources to support partners working together innovatively to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. They encourage planning in all four community response areas, as well as time and resource investment in enhancing social development, prevention and risk intervention. For more information, see the CSWB Framework.