Social Work and Human Trafficking: An Introduction from a Trauma-Informed Perspective



VIRTUAL SEMINAR | April 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2021, 1 - 4:15 p.m. ET
Instructor: Ninette Rothmüller, M.S.W., Ph.D.
CEs: 12 CEs for social workers and psychologists are available for $10 fee 
Level: Intermediate

Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. In the U.S., trafficking victims are almost exclusively immigrants-- the majority of which are women. This seminar will help participants understand what human trafficking is, in what forms it occurs and how social work can respond without re-traumatizing survivors. 

From a trauma-informed perspective, participants will engage with the intersectional phenomenon of human trafficking and take part in an informed discussion of how social work can work towards empowerment and social change. Participants will investigate intersectional injustices and social work practices on micro, mezzo and macro levels. 

Examining diverse materials, we will develop empowering hands-on social work tools and acquire a critical perspective on well-intentioned social work interventions that, while aiming to help victims, might instead cause victims arrest, incarceration, family separation and/or deportation. This seminar will include discussions of cultural dynamics and the cultural appropriateness of various clinical social work interventions. Reflecting on the appropriateness of advocacy tools will include understanding demand, prevalence, experiences of survivors, types of human trafficking, trafficking methods as well as national and global power dynamics. 

Skills acquired in this seminar strengthen clinical social work practices that work towards empowerment and are informed by cultural awareness, respect and the aim to provide trauma-informed care and harm reduction. The exploration of these ideas takes into account issues of culture, power, privilege and oppression. 

Target Audience: 

Social workers and other social service providers

Course Delivery Method, Format and Instructor Interaction :

Synchronous, interactive virtual seminar with discussion

System Requirements:

Attendees will need access to a computer with working camera and microphone. All courses are offered using Zoom conferencing software and login information is sent shortly after registration. 

Registration Fees and Deadlines:

Early registration by February 15, 2021: $260
Regular registration extended until April 6, 2021: $285

CEs: 12 CEs for social workers and psychologists are available for $10 fee 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define components of human trafficking
  2. Identify forms of human trafficking. 
  3. Describe how to detect and act successfully against human trafficking.
  4. List practical social work tools for everyday clinical practice. 
  5. Explain how social workers can respond to human trafficking without re-traumatizing and without causing victims arrest, incarceration, family separation and/or deportation.
  6. Articulate how local, state, national and policy arenas intersect in relation to human trafficking.
  7. Explain how social workers can engage in advocacy, grassroots activism, community-based (local) responses, social work responses, justice system responses as well as policy making in relation to human trafficking.
  1. Welcome and framing of issues (human trafficking, trauma)
  2. Grounding exercise into ‘trafficking’
  3. Overview of intersectional forms of human trafficking and relevance to social work
  4. Introduction to responsive social work from a trauma-informed perspective
  5. Workshopping/Case Studies: putting theory/global developments into (clinical) local practice
  6. Joint reflection: tools, concepts, tasks, resources, challenges – Outlook 

About the Instructor:

Ninette Rothmüller is a social worker and researcher with a long history of working with clients who have experienced trauma across borders and languages. She has worked within two European Commission projects analyzing intersectional inequality and vulnerability across European borders and with populations who had experienced domestic violence and with immigrants and those who had experienced human trafficking. Her Ph.D. investigated intersectional socio-geographies and politics leading to the circumstances and experiences of human trafficking. Rothmüller has been engaged in teaching longer courses remotely utilizing various online teaching methods since 2006.

Completion Requirements for Virtual Seminars

Virtual Seminars (referred to as live interactive webinars by ASWB) are live, synchronous, online courses held in Zoom meetings. To receive a CE certificate, you must attend the entirety of the virtual seminar. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the virtual seminar. For virtual seminars, participant attendance is tracked through Zoom, students are engaged throughout the online class utilizing their camera and/or microphone and participants must complete an evaluation. A link to the online evaluation will be emailed to participants within 24 hours of the conclusion of the course. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the evaluation for the virtual seminar, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of seminar completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records. Receiving the CE certificate is contingent on attendance and completion of the evaluation.

Continuing Education Credits and Accreditation

Social Work CE Credit: The Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School's Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Smith College School for Social Work, Office of Professional Education SW OPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0169. If outside these states, please contact your licensing board for accreditation information regarding your state. Association of Social Work Boards database of social work licensure requirements. This course does not offer ASWB ACE credit. 

Psychology CE Credit: Co-sponsored training events for psychology CE credit with Smith College School for Social Work. Amego Prepare​ is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Amego Prepare maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


Further information on policies and CE accreditation can be found here.

Mary Curtin | Manager of Professional Education

Lilly Hall, 23 West Street, Northampton MA 01062 | 413.585.7970