Maryland has made significant progress in combating human trafficking, but there is much more work to be done, according to experts and panelists who attended a recent conference hosted by the University of Maryland School of Social Work (UM SSW).
“We need to make sure that you all know more about what is going on with human trafficking in our state so that you all can start to respond and spread the word about what needs to be done,” UM SSW Research Assistant Professor, Nadine Finigan-Carr, PhD, told an audience of 350 at the Maryland Child Trafficking Conference: Moving from Awareness to Response, held Dec. 4 at Towson University. UM SSW hosted the statewide conference in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention and the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force (MHTTF).
“The title of this conference was not chosen lightly,” continued Finigan-Carr, who is also director, Prevention of Adolescent Risks Initiative, and assistant director, Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children. “Moving from awareness to response is really what we want. We need to do more than know human trafficking exists. We need to be able to respond, because the children that we serve, the youth that we serve, the citizens here in our state deserve us to be better, to do better.”
Since UM SSW’s founding 56 years ago, its faculty has been applying science and practice to understand and redress social problems, UM SSW Dean Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, said in his welcoming remarks. “None of our work is more important or innovative than our work on human trafficking, which is taking shape in three ways,” (See link for full story)