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Certificate on Human Trafficking

Online Certificate on Human Trafficking for Youth-Serving Professionals

The McCain Institute’s Certificate on Human Trafficking is now open for enrollment! Created in partnership with the National Network for Youth and Arizona State University, this two course sequence ensures participants understand the fundamentals of human trafficking and know how to respond to youth experiencing trafficking in trauma-informed ways.

Is this certificate right for me?

Yes! This course is designed for many levels of providers from executive leadership to program specialists, outreach coordinators and case managers. As tireless advocates and allies for these young people, you can make a difference in their lives by being able to identify survivors of trafficking, connect them to the services they need, as well as help prevent trafficking from happening in the first place. 

Guided by an Advisory Group of leading researches and experts on human trafficking, youth homelessness, and child welfare, this self-paced curriculum includes twelve modules utilizing evidence-based readings, multimedia materials, interactive activities, and quizzes. After participating in each course, and successfully completing post-tests on the material presented, participants will earn a Certificate indicating that they have successfully completed the training. 

This course is also eligible for continuing education credits through the National Association of Social Workers.

What will I learn?

This certificate training is both skill and knowledge-based, and focuses on how to respond to youth experiencing trafficking in appropriate and trauma-informed ways, including by connecting them to services. 

In the 101 Foundations of Human Trafficking course, participants learn the fundamentals of human trafficking and trauma. The 201 Practical Applications course goes more in-depth into screening young clients, meeting their unique needs, and understanding effects of trauma on both trafficked youth and those who work with them.

Through these two courses, learners will have the opportunity to: 

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of human trafficking, including dispelling common myths and misconceptions.
  • Enhance their ability to screen young clients for trafficking experiences and vulnerabilities. 
  • Develop the necessary skills to build positive relationships with young survivors. 
  • Learn how to recognize and mitigate the effects of secondary trauma. 
  • Discuss course materials and professional experience with other learners through discussion questions.


To learn more and enroll, click here.

What are participants saying?

Ernie Allen McCain Institute Human Trafficking Advisory Council
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“This is a significant step forward and represents a timely innovation to help increase professionalism and engagement in this vital field.”
Officer Michael ClearySomerville (MA) Police Department
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“This program opened my eyes to the complexity of human trafficking. As a street cop, I learned what to look for when encountering a potential victim in the field and how best to help them. I highly recommend this to my fellow Patrol Officers.”
Myeesha ArranagaFamily Assistance’s Open Door Program
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“Excellent, well-structured and very informative. This training provided a diversified view on human trafficking with practical application. It is one of the most thorough trainings I have been on. Even though I’m considered to be an expert in my field and a survivor, this training brought new relevant information that I found to be refreshing. Regardless if you’re new to learning about human trafficking or you are just looking to get refreshed I would definitely recommend this training."
Gina ReadOne n Ten, Inc.
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“Arizona State University’s Certificate on Human Trafficking should be mandatory for anyone working with youth and young adults. The course dispels widely held myths about trafficking, so that you have a concrete understanding of what to look for when working with youth and young adults. Giving you the tools to spot someone who might be trafficked is essential, but the course also shows you what vulnerabilities that might make a youth or young adult a potential target for traffickers so that you can take steps to help prevent it from happening. The holistic and trauma informed approach takes a very in-depth look at all the needs of someone who has been trafficked, and the other agencies/resources that might need to be involved. The course gives sound advice in setting the youth or young adult up for success by not putting shame on what they did, and by giving them the lead in what their next steps will be. The course is well designed integrating videos, readings and interactive activities to reach learners on many different levels. I highly recommend Arizona State University’s Certificate on Human Trafficking.”
Rumi Kato Price, PhD, MPEProfessor of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine and Founder, Human Trafficking Collaborative Network (HTCN)
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“My group has been looking for a certificate program for the past few years for our students and community advocates. The new McCain Institute- Arizona State University joint certificate programs, “Human Trafficking Foundations” and “Human Trafficking Practical Applications” are both comprehensive and yet accessible to people with little evidence-based knowledge about human trafficking and exploitation. Existing trainings and education programs oftentimes offer one-time workshop or conference. While they frequently offer CE or CMEs, they do not go into the depth required to provide a certification. For non-clinicians, the Program’s self-paced virtual format is appropriate and convenient, also making the programs affordable. Yet, the final exam makes students pay attention to presentations and review support resources thoroughly. For clinicians or clinicians-in-training, these two courses provide necessary training before going into human trafficking specialty service training, internship or practicum program.”
Kenneth AllenCommissioner At-large Indianapolis Public Schools and Program Director for the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program (ITVAP)
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"The certificate on Human Trafficking that I received from the McCain Institute better prepared me to go out and fight and advocate for victims of Human trafficking. The modules were very easy to follow and very informative. As someone who has worked in the field of Human Trafficking for over 5 years, this course gave me additional tools for my tool belt to continue the fight against Human Trafficking.”
Jacqueline ShireyAt-Risk Coordinator, Beaumont Independent School District, (Beaumont, TX)
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“The real-life examples throughout the presentations, made the courses relevant and realistic to what the world of human trafficking entails; especially, the complexity and nuances of working with survivors. As someone with previous training and professional experience with the topic, I found the courses to be highly engaging and can say I learned something new. The program is a great refresher on best practice, as well as a "how-to" for development/implementation of survivor-centered procedures.”
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“This course acknowledges root causes and identifies risk factors for trafficking while providing thoughtful guidance on best practices for case management.”
Stacie BlackburnPinal County Juvenile Court
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“In completing the Certification on Human Trafficking, I found myself eager to get to the next module to continue expanding not only my knowledge but resources. I fully valued the ability to read other students’ reflections, their knowledge and experience contributing to what I was learning through the certification. Additionally, the various methods used to engage the learner made the courses more dynamic and easy to retain the information presented. From lectures, videos, reading material and interactive learning the invaluable information I was receiving was quickly jotted down. What I learned from the certificate on Human Trafficking will be what I will reference day to day and continue to grow from. Taking the course has increased my understanding of trauma and what survivors are experiencing and our response. Each module building on the next, I found myself excited to see what the next one offered. After completing the certification, I not only feel more equipped to identify, understand, and support survivors but also a greater understanding of trauma.”

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