Social Work and Sex Workers

Course Number: 
69004

This course will focus on best practices for social workers who wish to provide support to sex workers and individuals involved in the sex trade. Historically, social workers have viewed sex workers as either “victims” or “criminals,” a problematic conceptualization that often misconstrues motivating factors, and leads to misguided clinical interventions and regulatory schemes. Social stigma against sex workers and the sex trades has forced this population to hide their activities from service providers; as a result few programs address their needs directly and effectively. Marginalization also increases vulnerability to violence and arrest, further complicating service provision. This course will outline optimal interventions using a harm reductionist approach to best serve this population; some of these interventions have been designed by sex workers themselves. This course will also encourage students to analyze the effects of current policies and policing on the lives on sex workers and their impact throughout the community.

Courses are subject to change at any time. Please check mySSA for the quarters, days, and times that courses will be held, as well as room numbers.