Children Youth

Community Hubs Make Sense

Community Hubs in Ontario

Following an extensive community consultation process with partners and stakeholders (including our very own Family Space Quinte, North Hastings Children’s Services, Ontario Native Women’s Association and Tyendinaga Township and Deseronto Public Libraries), an examination of best practices and engagement with 17 ministries, the Premier’s Community Hubs Framework Advisory Group created a report to inform the government about “the provincial barriers that stand in the way of the implementation and operation of community hubs so they can be removed.”

“Community hubs provide a central access point for a range of needed health and social services, along with cultural, recreational, and green spaces to nourish community life.  A community hub can be a school, a neighbourhood centre, an early learning centre, a library, an elderly persons centre, a community health centre, an old government building, a place of worship or another public space.  Whether virtual or located in a physical building, whether located in a high-density urban neighbourhood or an isolated rural community, each hub is as unique as the community it services and is defined by local needs, services and resources.”

The creation of hubs is by no means new to CYSN member organizations.  Many will recall the work of the Prenatal to Six Integration Team between 2007 and 2010 on the development of virtual Best Start hubs in each of the neighbourhoods across Hastings-Prince Edward.  Local Ontario Early Years Centres collaborated with all providers of services to young children and their families to identify and address service gaps. Please CLICK HERE to view the 2009/2010 Best Start Integrated Status Update.

An integrated service delivery approach, which includes “No Wrong Door”, was found to be a common theme among current hub initiatives.  Words used to describe hubs include:  “seamless, one-stop shop, wraparound, client-centred, accessible” – all familiar terms used by our Network to describe the work we are doing in the areas of service pathways, family engagement and aboriginal planning.

The Strategic Framework and Action Plan states, “most of the hubs already established within Ontario are the result of ‘local heroes,’ individuals, organizations, networks and sectors that have seen a need – or an opportunity – in their communities and who have responded to it.”

This report should be read by members of all CYSN member organizations in order for us to hold informed discussions and start thinking ahead to the creation of our own unique version(s) of all-inclusive community hubs in Hastings-Prince Edward.

Please CLICK HERE to view the full report.

Wendy Anderson, Coordinator, Children and Youth Services Network

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