Overcoming Education Gap of Pediatric Healthcare Providers Is Important to End Child Trafficking

For Immediate Release

Jan. 9, 2019



Justin Worsley, NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth

917-746-8299 | jworsley@napnap.org


Overcoming Education Gap of Pediatric Healthcare Providers Is Important to End Child Trafficking

Comprehensive education package focuses on improving awareness among

pediatric nurse practitioners, physicians, other providers

New York, Jan. 9, 2019 – Human trafficking has been typically framed as an urban law enforcement and judicial problem, a problem of pimps, johns and prostitutes. It’s largely because of the tremendous growth and, many times, unchecked usage of social media by children and adolescents that labor and sex child trafficking has reached every socioeconomic segment and geographic areas in the U.S. Yet, advanced practice nurses, physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses and others generally have had no education on the subject during their academic years. This knowledge gap of healthcare professionals is improving as a result of the efforts of NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth (NAPNAP Partners) and professional societies.

NAPNAP Partners will complete and launch its 3-PARRT (Providers Assessing Risk and Responding to Trafficking) continuing education modules during January, which is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The three-module on-demand course is believed to be the first to focus on the pediatric population and prevention.

“NAPNAP Partners has 20 founding organizations that have collaborated over the past year to develop pediatric provider-specific courses, in-person workshops and grassroots peer presentations,” said Tresa Zielinski, DNP, RN, APN-NP, CPNP-PC, co-chair of the Alliance for Children in Trafficking (ACT) and director of NAPNAP Partners. “Up to 87 percent of human trafficking victims have encountered a healthcare professional without being identified. We want to greatly lower that number, and we believe that peer-to-peer education is best.”

“Children with low self-esteem, social isolation, homelessness and have histories of abuse are most at risk, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center,” said Jessica Peck, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, CNE, CNL, FAANP, co-chair of ACT and director of NAPNAP Partners. “We’re training pediatric providers to look for signs and symptoms that are overlooked and are generally more nuanced. Sometimes the adolescent doesn’t even realize he or she is a victim.”

NAPNAP Partners will launch in January its 3-PARRT, a CE/CNE/CME-accredited, on-demand continuing education course on sex and labor child trafficking for nurse practitioners, nurses, physicians and physician assistants. Representatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), National Association of School Nurses (NASN), Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and others contributed to the development of the modules. More information on 3-PARRT can be found on PedsCESM.

“Stop Child Trafficking in Your Community: Become an ACT Advocate” is an in-person training to be held March 9 at the 40th National Conference on Pediatric Health Care in New Orleans. Attendees will receive a certificate of recognition and be eligible to teach the curriculum to pediatric and other healthcare providers in their communities. “The goal is to continue to educate pediatric providers—whether nurses or physicians—so they can conduct peer education in their communities,” said Cate Brennan, vice president of NAPNAP Partners and executive director of National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP). Healthcare providers may learn more register for the ACT Advocate workshop (011) can be found here. A peer-to-peer campaign and other fundraising activities are being launched to support the ongoing grassroots and other outreach effort.