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
Childhood abuse and harmful substance use among criminal offenders

Swogger, Marc T.
Conner, Kenneth R.
Walsh, Zach
Maisto, Stephen A.

2011 Journal article
Does type of harm matter? A factorial survey examining the influence of child neglect on child protection decision-making

Stokes, Jackie
Taylor, Julie

2014 Journal article
Comparative study of the cognitive sequelae of school-aged victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome

Stipanicic, Annie
Nolin, Pierre
Fortin, Gilles
Gobeil, Marie-France

2008 Journal article
Contributions of the glucocorticoid receptor polymorphism (Bcl1) and childhood abuse to risk of bulimia nervosa

Steiger, Howard
Bruce, Kenneth
Gauvin, Lise
Groleau, Patricia
Joober, Ridha
Israel, Mimi
Richardson, Jodie
Ng Yin Kin, Francois

2011 Journal article
Meta-analysis of treatment for child sexual behavior problems: Practice elements and outcomes

St. Amand, Annick
Bard, David E.
Silovsky , Jane F.

2008 Journal article
Ten-year epidemiological study of pediatric burns in Canada

Spinks, Anneliese
Wasiak, Jason
Cleland, Heather
Beben, Nicole
Macpherson, Alison K.

2008 Journal article
Diagnostic coding of abuse related fractures at two children's emergency departments

Somji, Zeeshanefatema
Plint, Amy
McGahern, Candice
Al-Saleh, Ahmed
Boutis, Kathy

2011 Journal article
Advanced Family Violence Training for Child Intervention Staff: An Environmental Scan

Snyder, Lynda
Babins-Wagner, Robbie

2012 Report
Developing a Case Typology for Children in Out-of-Home Care: Child Welfare Worker Perspectives

Skrypek, Margaret
Wells, Susan
Bauerkemper, Kristen
Koranda, Laura
Link, Amber

2008 Journal article
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