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Kayla Gallagher
 |  Staff Writer

Florida State University has launched a new certification in human trafficking prevention and intervention. This certification is offered online through the FSU Center for Academic & Professional Development (CAPD) and helps to create an understanding of the many types of human trafficking and the inner workings of it.

“The Professional Certification in Human Trafficking Prevention and Intervention certification offers an economical way to provide access to much-needed knowledge and skills to a broad range of professionals who provide services to human trafficking survivors,” said Jim Clark, dean and professor for the FSU College of Social Work.

Last week the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) charged over 170 people after a two-year investigaiton into a sex trafficking network in Tallahassee. Operation Stolen Innocence was a secret operation that had been looking into this sex trafficking network since 2018. In light of this, professionals who seek to get the certification can use what they learn and apply it to studying crimes just like this one.

“Professionals can enhance their career potential and gain a thorough understanding of the core concepts of human trafficking dynamics, prevention strategies and evidence-based trauma-informed interventions,” Clark said.

A lot of the curriculum offered through the certification is formulated on how to interact with victims so that participants can learn how to assist survivors through programs that are being used across the nation. The program provides information on who the most vulnerable populations are and the services that are offered for them. Participants can also learn about laws around human trafficking from a judicial and law enforcement standpoint.

“The certification takes a multidisciplinary public health approach to examine root causes and prevention of human trafficking,” said Karen Oehme, director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies (IFVS). “In addition, up-to-date social science research is used to highlight successful trauma-informed prevention and intervention strategies to assist survivors of human trafficking.”

The certification is open to professionals in a variety of fields including social work, law, criminal justice, first responders, victim advocates, counselors, psychologists and more. Along with CAPD, the course was developed by the Clearinghouse on Trauma and Resilience at IVFS, the FSU College of Social Work and the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. The curriculum includes research-based reading, quizzes, tests and the assistance of professionals in the field to help educate participants.

This certification gives participants the opportunity to be well-versed in their knowledge of human trafficking, how to prevent it, how to be leaders in prevention and intervention and how to help strengthen survivors. The innovative programming of this course will allow for participants to apply what they have learned to their professions and education.

“The certification provides professionals across many disciplines with knowledge of foundational state and federal trafficking laws and relevant case law designed to protect adult victims and survivors of human trafficking, and learn strategies to hold traffickers accountable,” said Terry Coonan, executive director of the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights.

The certification requires coursework as well as enrollment fees. Participants do not have to be in the Tallahassee area to complete the program since it is offered online, and discounts on enrollment are offered for FSU alumni and veterans.

For more information about the certification, contact The FSU Center for Academic & Professional Development at resilience@capd.fsu.edu or (850) 644-7545.

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