Campus Location

Abilene Campus

Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

ORCID

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0701-9180

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Social Work

Degree Name

Master of Science in Social Work

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Thomas Winter

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Kyeonghee Jang

Abstract

Human trafficking is a global epidemic that steals the freedoms away from those who have been oppressed by it. Providing victims with resources begins with identifying them. Unfortunately, identifying victims is not an easy task. Trafficked victims are controlled and protected by their traffickers, and recipients may not even realize that they are victims of human trafficking. Also, the vague nature of trafficking makes it difficult for service providers, such as those in law enforcement, healthcare, and social services, to identify victims readily. Furthermore, research efforts imply a general lack of training provided for employees to know how to identify victims. Therefore, this research sought to evaluate the effectiveness of training employees to identify potentially trafficked victims.

This research project took place at a county social services department in the greater Houston area. Before this research, only one victim was noted as a potential victim of human trafficking in twelve months. Post-training, twelve victims were identified in seven months.

The data were made up of counts of potentially trafficked victims, categorized by months. A single subject interrupted time series design was used to analyze the data. The null hypothesis claimed that there would be no effect on the number of potential identifications being made after the implementation of the training intervention. A celeration line test, a binomial test, and a two standard deviation band analysis revealed that the training intervention produced significant results.

Challenges for this research project included lack of employee involvement, the elusive nature of victim identifications, and fear of retributions from the traffickers. Implications that resulted from this research include support of Governor Abbott’s plan to reduce human trafficking, a possible need for assessment practices before training efforts, and a demonstrated potential for more significant research opportunities in the area of training employees to identify victims of human trafficking.

Comments

I am grateful to the Veterans Administration for making it possible for me to pursue my educational interests.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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