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Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress in CSEY Providers

May 17, 2023 | 9:00am


Date: May 17th, 9am-12pm CST

Location: Virtual (Zoom)

Cost: Free, thanks to generous funding from the Office of the Governor’s Child Sex Trafficking Team


Introducing compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress definitions, normalization of the problem, real life examples and videos, open discussion, review tools, discuss personal intervention planning, discuss organizational considerations, provide time for personal assessments to be completed.

Specific to any child-welfare provider, CSEY advocate, counselor/social worker, and youth provider.

DESCRIPTION: Providers working with at-risk and sexually exploited youth experience sustained exposure to child maltreatment, sexual assaults, and human trafficking. The resulting effects can be devastating and include substance abuse, increased rates of suicide, family distress, depression and anxiety, and decreased physical wellness. This session will primarily focus on learning about our personal secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, PTSD, burnout and moral injury, and gaining tools to assess personal secondary trauma. Attendees will learn coping strategies to improve their overall wellbeing and have more insight into personal and professional care. Discussion regarding personal experiences of secondary traumatic stress, cultural changes within the workplace, and the normalization of secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue will be a main priority during this session.


Melissa Kaiser is an independent consultant in the anti-human trafficking field. She was the first Human Trafficking Navigator hired for Eastern North Dakota, contracted with the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force. Melissa was employed with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations as their first Victim/Witness Specialist, and assisted in creating the integrated victim services and law enforcement program in ND. Melissa graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She was a member of the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force for six years, and during that time she was the vice chair of the Labor Trafficking Subcommittee. Melissa has been involved in additional committees and task forces specific to underserved populations, and is a trained facilitator in Compassion Fatigue, Green Dot, SHARP, GEMS, My Life My Choice, and Stand to Protect. She has additional training in Child Welfare, Pride and Safe Zone. Melissa is a board member for the Fargo Police Department’s Badges of Unity program and was a nominee for the YWCA’s Women of the Year 2020. She is a skilled facilitator working with groups within foster care systems, psychiatry and addiction patients, and human trafficking multi-disciplinary teams. She has experience in team supervision, protocol development, team development and maintenance, crisis management, public speaking, training development, prevention/education, advocacy, and case management. Melissa has trained over 11,000 professionals and students, and has trained at GRIT, IHTSJ/GAHTS, NCPTF, Shared Hope/JuST and IAHTI conferences on the topics of human trafficking and secondary traumatic stress. Melissa assisted in creating a summer food service program for children in Fargo, ND, and studied abroad the social welfare system of Ireland. She currently lives in Clearwater, FL, and working nationally and internationally in the anti-human trafficking field. Melissa was born and raised in North Dakota.