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.

Titlesort icon Authors Year Type of Publication
Is child abuse declining in Canada? An analysis of child welfare data

Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Hélie, Sonia
Trocmé, Nico

2010 Journal article
Is the cluster risk model of parental adversities better than the cumulative risk model as an indicator of childhood physical abuse?: Findings from two representative community surveys

Fuller-Thomson, Esme
Sawyer, J.-L.

2012 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
Knowledge Transfer and Exchange: Disseminating Canadian Child Maltreatment Surveillance Findings to Decision Makers

Jack, Susan
Tonmyr, Lil

2008 Journal article
La Transmission de la Violence Sexuelle: Description du Phénomène et Pistes de Compréhension

Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Cyr, Mireille

2003 Journal article
Legal and Policy Responses to Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: The Need to Evaluate Intended and Unintended Consequences

Jaffe, Peter
Crooks, Claire
Wolfe, David

2003 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
Liability considerations in child welfare: lessons from Canada

Kanani, Karima
Regehr, Cheryl
Bernstein, Marvin M.

2002 Journal article
L’évolution de la sévérité de la maltraitance au Québec

Hélie, Sonia
Roy, Catherine

2010 Other
Maltreatment and Trauma: Tracking the Connections in Adolescence

Scott, Katreena
Wolfe, David
Wekerle, Christine

2003 Journal article