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 Authorssort icon Year Type of Publication
Liability considerations in child welfare: lessons from Canada

Kanani, Karima
Regehr, Cheryl
Bernstein, Marvin M.

2002 Journal article
Childhood trauma and injection drug use among high-risk youth

Kerr, Thomas
Stoltz, Jo-Anne
Marshall, Brandon
Lai, Calvin
Strathdee, Steffanie A.
Wood, Evan

2009 Journal article
Early childhood home visiting programs

Knoke, Della

2009 Information sheet
Risk assessment in child welfare

Knoke, Della
Trocmé, Nico

2004 Information sheet
False Allegations of Abuse and Neglect

Knott, Theresa
Trocmé, Nico
Bala, Nicholas

2004 Information sheet
A Special Case Review in Regard to the Death of Phoenix Sinclair

Koster, Andrew J.
Schibler, Billie

2006 Report
Mothering Under Difficult Circumstances: Challenges to working with battered women

Krane, Julia
Davies, Linda

2007 Journal article
Les variations des taux de mauvais traitements envers les enfants : réalités épidémiologiques ou changements de normes?

Léveillé, Sophie
Bouchard, Véronique
Adam, Catherine
Tremblay-Renaud, Amélie
Roy, Catherine

2006 Presentation
Externalizing Problems and Problematic Sexual Behaviors: Same Etiology?

Lévesque, Mireille
Bigras, Marc
Pauzé, Robert


Violence conjugale et mauvais traitements envers les enfants: phénomènes reliés mais envisagés dans des paradigmes distincts

Lavergne, Chantal

2007 Journal article