AbstractsSocial Work

Sacramento area service providers' competencies in working with survivors of sex trafficking

by Kari Tall-Domingos

Institution: California State University – Sacramento
Department: Social Work
Degree: MSW
Year: 2015
Keywords: Human trafficking; Trauma; Client engagement skills
Record ID: 2060441
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/139361


Victims of sex trafficking experience profound trauma and the process of recovering from this horrific experience is long and difficult. The purpose of this study was to identify the necessary skills, in terms of client-engagement and trauma-recovery, that service providers in this line of work must have in order to best serve survivors of sex trafficking. The information was gathered through the perspectives of service providers within direct service agencies who serve this population, in Sacramento, CA. It was found that providing a consistent and reliable relationship of support and cultivating trust were most frequently noted as the top two most necessary skills. Additionally, providing a trauma-sensitive environment and helping the client rebuild their personal identity/self-image were most frequently noted as the top two most necessary trauma-recovery skills. Respondents identified providing a trauma-sensitive environment as the area in which service providers are in most need of further training. A positive and strong correlation was found, r =.769, p =.01 between the engagement skills domain and trauma-recovery skills domain of the questionnaire, indicating that both are essential for service providers to possess when working with survivors of sex trafficking. One significant implication of these findings for social work is that social workers who choose to enter this line of work need to have a solid understanding of trauma and be skilled in conducting themselves in trauma-sensitive ways. Findings, implication, recommendations, and limitations are discussed in further detail.