Emerging Issues Webinar: Protective Factors for Children (Part 1)

Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

May 25, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

The National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC) will host a 90-minute webinar on emerging trends and case studies that address protective factors for children. The webinar will also highlight identifying at-risk populations, including LGBTQIA2S+ youth, all-male youth, runaway and homeless youth, Native youth, and unaccompanied minors.

Learning Objectives
• Define “disconnected youth” and understand why they are at risk of human trafficking.
• Discuss trauma- and survivor-informed strategies to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors for youth, families, and communities.
• Examine innovative models used to prevent trafficking of disconnected youth across the United States.


Anna Smith is a licensed clinical social work associate in North Carolina, registered yoga trainer (RYT) 500, and registered psychotherapist in Colorado. Ms. Smith works in therapeutic services and focuses on understanding the mind-body connection and the best approaches for clinical interventions. Before working in clinical services, Ms. Smith co-founded the nonprofit Restore One and worked with boys and men who exited trafficking situations. Because of her work, she co-produced a full-length documentary film on the issue, Boys Documentary. Ms. Smith is also an adjunct faculty member at the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s School of Social Work and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Smith has a Master of Social Work from East Carolina University and is an RYT 500 in Yoga Therapeutics from the Wilmington Yoga Center.

Erik Gray is a co-founder and lead trainer for Queers Uniting to End Exploitation, a national speaker, and an expert on human trafficking. Mr. Gray is also a community organizer, leader, and activist in the Seattle, WA area, focusing on HIV prevention and care and anti-oppression work. He provides essential trainings on the trafficking of boys and men, LGBTQ2IA+ individuals, runaway and homeless youth, and responding to trafficking in tribal communities. Previously, Mr. Gray championed gender and LGBTQ2IA+ inclusion for commercial sexual exploitation services in King County through his work at Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST). He also launched a shelter with YouthCare that focused on serving youth of color, and he is one of the first male advocates for survivors in Washington state who intentionally serves survivors of all genders. He serves as chair of the City of Seattle Human Rights Commission Human Trafficking Task Force and on the Seattle Metropolitan Elections Commission Steering Committee. Mr. Gray previously served on the Kitsap County Human Rights Commission and multiple diversity advisory boards and for Bailey-Boushay HIV/AIDS hospice. He received the 2019 Unlikely Heroes award for his contributions to human rights and anti-trafficking.

Deanna Pruitt is a program director at Sasha Bruce Youthwork where she leads a variety of community initiatives, including the Clay Terrace Family Success Center and the P.O.W.E.R. program. Ms. Pruitt has teaching, clinical, research, and public health experience and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for at-risk and homeless youth and families. She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist. Ms. Pruitt has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois and an M.S. in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland.