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
Child abuse and mental disorders in Canada

Afifi, Tracie O.
MacMillan, Harriet L.
Boyle, Michael
Taillieu, Tamara
Cheung, Kristene 
Sareen, Jitender 

2014 Journal article
Child abuse and neglect investigations in Canada: Comparing 1998 and 2003 data

Trocmé, Nico
MacLaurin, Bruce
Fallon, Barbara
Black, Tara
Lajoie, Jules

2005 Information sheet
Child abuse and neglect investigations in Ontario: Comparing 1998 and 2003 data

Fallon, Barbara
Trocmé, Nico
MacLaurin, Bruce
Felstiner, Caroline
Petrowski, Nicole

2008 Information sheet
Child abuse and physical health in adulthood
Afifi, Tracie O.
MacMillan, Harriet L. 
Boyle, Michael
Cheung, Kristene
Taillieu, Tamara
Turner, Sarah
Sareen, Jitender
2016 Journal article
Child and family poverty in Canada: Implications for child welfare research

de Boer, Kaila
Rothwell, David W.
Lee, Christopher

2013 Information sheet
Child and Family Services of Western Manitoba Annual Report 2011-2012

Child and Family Services of Western Manitoba

2012 Report
Child Custody/Access Disputes in Child Maltreatment-Related Investigations in Ontario in 2013

Deljavan, Sevil
Black, Tara
Saini, Michael
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
Child Emotional Maltreatment in Canada

Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
MacLaurin, Bruce
Black, Tara
Roy, Catherine

2005 Information sheet
Child Maltreatment and Domestic Violence Editorial: Current State of Knowledge and Emerging Strategies for Policy and Practice

Shlonsky, Aron
Friend, Colleen

2007 Journal article
Child Maltreatment and HPA Axis Dysregulation: Relationship to Major Depressive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Females

Shea, Alison
Walsh, Christine
MacMillan, Harriet
Steiner, Meir

2005 Journal article