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Practical Applications on Human Trafficking


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Full course description










Please note: The 101 Foundations is a prerequisite to the 201 Practical Applications course.

What you'll learn:

The 201 Practical Applications course is the second in a two-course certificate program on human trafficking. This course will ensure participants understand how to respond to youth experiencing trafficking in appropriate and trauma-informed ways, including connecting them to the appropriate services.

What you'll do:

Throughout this course, participants will hear from subject-matter experts, as well as engage with the content through supplemental materials including videos and readings. At the end of each module, learners will test their understanding of the information presented through interactive exercises and knowledge-checks.

Module topics include:

  • How to screen youth clients for experiences of sex and/or labor trafficking
  • How to assess the needs of your trafficked youth clients
  • How to appropriately serve youth who have been trafficked
  • Understanding the science of trauma and its impact on your clients
  • Helping staff cope with secondary trauma

Who this course is designed for:

This series of courses on human trafficking is designed for many levels of providers from executive leadership to program specialists, outreach coordinators and case managers.

Discounted Rates Available: For more information about discounts for human trafficking survivors and group rates please fill out the contact form here.

What you'll receive:

After successfully completing this course, you will receive a certificate of completion along with a digital badge you can place on your LinkedIn profile. This certificate is also eligible for continuing education credits through the National Association of Social Workers.

Certificate on Human Trafficking Contributors:

In preparation for this course, the McCain Institute and NN4Y assembled a group of experts and advisors, comprised of members from across the nation representing urban, suburban, and rural communities. These leading experts, academics, and practitioners reviewed and provided feedback on the curricula. Together, their valuable insights and expertise will help to mobilize our communities to serve vulnerable youth and combat human trafficking and exploitation.

Ernie Allen
Founder, International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children
Former President and CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Kenneth Allen
Commissioner At-large, Indianapolis Public Schools
Program Director for the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (ITVAP)
Myeesha Arranaga
Human Trafficking Empowerment Advocate, Open Door
Holly Austin Gibbs
Member, McCain Institute Human Trafficking Advisory Council
Stacie Blackburn
Juvenile Probation Supervisor, Pinal County Juvenile Court
Melissa Brockie
Human Trafficking and Youth Homelessness Expert
Jean Bruggeman
Executive Director, Freedom Network USA
Officer Michael Cleary
Somerville, Massachusetts Police Department
Valerie Douglas
Director of Counseling & Runaway/Homeless Youth Services, The Center for Youth Services, Inc
Dr. Melinda Giovengo
CEO and President, YouthCare
Sparky Harlan
CEO, Bill Wilson Center
Melanie Heitkamp
Executive Director, Youthworks/Mountain Plains Youth Services
Rumi Kato Price PhD, MPE
Professor of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine
Founder, Human Trafficking Collaborative Network (HTCN)
Washington University Institute for Public Health
Olive Kersey
Anti-Trafficking Caseworker, International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Leslie McGuire
SVP of Quality, Performance and Site Support, Covenant House International
Gina Read
Program Manager, one•n•ten, Inc.
Samantha Sahl
Child Sex Trafficking Recovery Services Team, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children


Meet the instructors

Melanie Heitkamp, LICSW

Melanie Heitkamp has been employed at Youthworks, a private, non-profit agency serving at-risk youth, since 1987. She has served as the Executive Director of the agency, with offices in Fargo and Bismarck, since 1997. She has a Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of North Dakota and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the State of North Dakota. She has extensive experience in training, program development, fundraising, policy development, grant writing, board governance, and clinical supervision. She worked with the State Supreme Court to develop and implement the first Native American diversion program in the State, the “Youth Cultural Achievement Program.” This program was identified by Chief Justice VandeWalle as a model program in his State of the Judiciary address to the 2015 North Dakota legislature. She completed the Impact Institutes, “Leadership Advanced North Dakota” training. She currently serves on the Federal Runaway Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center Advisory Board.

Amy Boyd, LDSW

Amy Boyd is a Licensed Social Worker and Mediator/Facilitator who has worked with individuals experiencing homelessness and runaway issues for the past fourteen years. Prior to working at Youthworks of North Dakota, she was a facilitator with Family Group Decision Making, a crisis response to individuals at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect. As a Human Trafficking Navigator, Amy coordinates a multi-disciplinary response process to identified or suspected cases of human trafficking and provides case management services to domestic and international clients. She is a member of the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force, where she works extensively with the US Department of Homeland Security and the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Amy is a GEMS-certified trainer in CSEC curriculum.

Darla Bardine, Executive Director

Darla Bardine has dedicated her career to young people and families who experience homelessness, poverty, violence and exploitation. As Executive Director of the National Network for Youth (NN4Y) her work leverages her skills as a leader and a public interest attorney to create an organization that truly reflects its values.

Since joining NN4Y in 2013, Darla created an unprecedented coalition of service providers, advocates and homeless youth, that ensures that youth homelessness is addressed in all relevant policy discussions. Darla has raised the profile of NN4Y and the voice of youth with lived experience by launching NN4Y’s National Youth Advisory Council, the Policy Advisory Committee, and the annual National Summit on Youth Homelessness.

Darla established her reputation as an exceptional leader, policy advocate and grassroots organizer early in her career. Before joining NN4Y, Darla created and launched the Fight Child Exploitation in Tourism Initiative in South Africa and worked to reform foster care in Washington, DC. As a federal policy advocate, she fought to secure assistance for families navigating the complex criminal justice and child welfare systems and fought to end the practice of shackling incarcerated pregnant mothers.

Ms. Bardine holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Pennsylvania State University, an M.A. in Nonprofit Management from the University of Roehampton and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Kristen Leanderson Abrams

Kristen Leanderson Abrams is the senior director of combatting human trafficking at the McCain Institute. In this capacity, she provides strategic leadership and operational management for the Institute’s program to combat all forms of human trafficking.

Abrams has extensive experience managing programs and advocating for solutions to prevent and end human trafficking and modern slavery around the world. Prior to joining the McCain Institute, she ran a consulting practice providing advice to non-profits working to end exploitation and promote human rights. She also served as the acting director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST).

Earlier in her career, Abrams led international pro bono programs at DLA Piper. In that capacity, she developed and implemented interdisciplinary anti-human trafficking, rule of law, economic development, access to justice, and women’s rights projects in under-resourced regions in the United States and throughout Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. While at DLA Piper, Abrams also provided counsel on matters of public international law, political law and corporate social responsibility.

Abrams began her career as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. She holds a juris doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

Kelsey Syms

Kelsey Syms serves as the program manager for the Combatting Human Trafficking program at the McCain Institute for International Leadership. In this role, she oversees the development and implementation of programmatic work, as well as advances the Institute’s convening power and external relations.

Prior to joining the McCain Institute, Kelsey interned for the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section assisting attorney staff in performing legal and factual research in support of the investigation and prosecution of complex criminal matters, including human trafficking.

Originally from Sun Valley, Idaho, Kelsey holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado – Boulder and a master’s degree in Global Leadership and Management from Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management.


This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886796578-2419) for 6 continuing education contact hours.