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
Identity lost and found: Lessons from the sixties scoop

Sinclair, Raven

2007 Journal article
Impact of a universal school-based violence prevention program on violent delinquency: Distinctive benefits for youth with maltreatment histories

Crooks, Claire V.
Scott, Katreena
Ellis, Wendy
Wolfe, David A.

2011 Journal article
In Whose Best Interest? A Canadian Case Study of the Impact of Child Welfare Policies in Cases of Domestic Violence

Alaggia, Ramona
Jenney, Angelique
Mazzuca, Josephine
Redmond, Melissa

2007 Journal article
Injuries and death of children at the hands of their parents

Trocmé, Nico
Lajoie, Jules
Fallon, Barbara
Felstiner, Caroline

2007 Information sheet
Injuries caused by child abuse and neglect

Montgomery, Victor
Trocmé, Nico

2004 Information sheet
Internalized Other Interviewing of Children Exposed to Violence

Hurley, Dermot

2006 Journal article
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