Schools as Community Hubs (SACH)

Program snapshot

Age group: Late childhood (7-11); Adolescence (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Families; Newcomers, immigrants and/or refugees

Topic: Academic issues; Hubs/situation tables

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; School-based

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

The REACH Schools as Community Hubs (SACH) pilot project was a crime prevention program working to build a safe community for children, youth, and their families in Edmonton. The intent of this project was to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors of vulnerable families while building a sense of community in the process. This approach will bring a focus on true wraparound services and supports with targeted interventions for the most vulnerable youth in the community, including Aboriginal, immigrant and refugee children.


The main goals of the SACH pilot project are to:

  • Build a coordinated partnership and strategy that positions schools as key access points for high-needs families, children and youth and results in changing systems delivery and processes;
  • Connect with families, youth and children in targeted neighbourhoods to offer a multifaceted hub of programs, including connections to services and support, recourse and mentoring, critical hours activities and capacity building; and
  • Reduce the high school dropout rate.


The appropriate clientele for the SACH pilot project are at-risk children, youth and families who need to be connected to services, programs and opportunities through Schools as Community Hubs. The ages of the clientele are children under 13, youth (14-17), and adults (17+).

Core Components

The “School as a Community Hub” model provides alternative activities during key times that allow parents to focus on establishing concrete income streams to strengthen the family unit.  If at-risk children, youth and families are connected to services, programs and opportunities through Schools as Community Hubs, they will become more actively involved as leaders in their communities or cultural groups.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: A number of models, approaches and practices in working with vulnerable families.
  • Partnerships: Limited information on this topic.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The SACH pilot project was implemented in Edmonton (Alberta) from 2010 to 2014. Funding was provided through the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on SACH pilot project. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • The SROI ratio calculated for the SACH project is 5.00:1, which indicates that over the course of three years, the overall social value of investment in the program is $5.00 for every dollar invested; and
  • Social value was created by allowing children a safe and beneficial after school activity. This helps at-risk children and youth decrease the amount of high school dropout rate. It also helps by increasing the hours parents can work and thus the household income as well. The community and government benefit as well due to a reduced amount of shop lifting, vandalism, visits to shelters, and police and justice costs.


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Schools as Community Hubs (SACH). Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from:

For more information on this program, contact:

REACH Edmonton
Lindsay Daniller
Telephone: (780)498-1231

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-12
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: