Child Abuse & Neglect

Child abuse and neglect include acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that result in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.  The five primary forms of maltreatment are physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, emotional maltreatment and exposure to domestic violence.

For a document that outlines definitions of frequently used terms in child abuse and neglect research, see the page with the glossary of social work and child maltreatment related terms.

You can get more information on the signs of child maltreatment from the Family Violence Initiative, operated by the Department of Justice of Canada. You can also contact Kid’s Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 for further information.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or are looking for information about services for children or families experiencing difficulties you can contact your local child welfare authority. Click here to find the local child authority agency in your province or territory. Please visit our FAQs section to learn more about child abuse and neglect.

Title Authors Year Type of Publication
Quebec Incidence Study 2008 (EIQ-2008): Final Report

Hélie, Sonia
Turcotte, Daniel
Trocmé, Nico
Tourigny, Marc

2012 Report
Quebec Indicidence Study 2008 (EIQ-2008): Executive Summary

Hélie, Sonia
Turcotte, Daniel
Trocmé, Nico
Tourigny, Marc

2012 Report
Kiskisik Awasisak: Remember the Children. Understanding the Overrepresentation of First Nations Children in the Child Welfare System

Sinha, Vandna
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
MacLaurin, Bruce
Fast, Elizabeth
Prokop, Shelley Thomas
et al.

2011 Report
Characteristics of Investigations Involving First Nations Children Compared to White Children in Ontario in 2013

Richard, Kenn
Ma, Jennifer
Fallon, Barbara

2018 Information sheet
False Allegations of Abuse and Neglect

Simpson, Megan
Fletcher, Kara
De La Sablonniere-Grifin, Mireille
Trocmé, Nico

2018 Information sheet
Group Home and Residential Treatment Placements in Child Welfare: Analyzing the 2008 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect

Doucet, Mélanie
Marion, Élodie
Trocmé, Nico

2018 Information sheet
Physical and mental health of sexually abuse youth: Gender comparisons from a matched-control cohort study

Daigneault, Isabelle
Vézina-Gagnon, Pascale
Bourgeois, Catherine 
Esposito, Tonino
Hébert, Martine

2017 Journal article
Examining the relationship between economic hardship and child maltreatment using data from the Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2013 (OIS-2013)

Lefebvre, Rachael
Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa
Filippelli, Joanne

2017 Journal article
Defining ‘reasonable force’: Does it advance child protection?

Durrant, Joan E.
Fallon, Barbara
Lefebvre, Rachael
Allan, Kate

2017 Journal article
Clinical differences and outcomes of sexual abuse investigations by gender: Implications for policy and practice

Fallon, Barbara
Collin-Vézina, Delphine
King, Bryn
Joh-Carnella, Nicolette

2017 Journal article