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
15-YEAR-OLD LEVI: An Investigative Review

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta

2017 Report
18-YEAR-OLD PETER: An Investigative Review

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta

2017 Report
A Comparative Study of Parental Sensitivity Between Three Groups of Adolescent Mothers

Paquette, Daniel
Zoccolillo, Mark
Bigras, Marc
Labelle, Marie-Ève
Azar, Rima
Emery, Jacinthe

2004 Journal article
A comparison of First Nations and non-Aboriginal children investigated for maltreatment in Canada in 2003

MacLaurin, Bruce
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
Blackstock, Cindy
Pitman, Lisa
McCormack, Megan

2011 Information sheet
A controlled evaluation of family behavior therapy in concurrent child neglect and drug abuse

Donohue, Brad
Azrin, Nathan H.
Bradshaw, Kelsey
Van Hasselt, Vincent B.
Cross, Chad L.
Urgelles, Jessica
Romero, Valerie
Hill, Heather H.
Allen, Daniel N. 

2014 Journal article
A developmental approach to the risk of a first recurrence in child protective services

Hélie, Sonia
Laurier, Catherine
Pineau-Villeneuve, Catherine
Royer, Marie-Noële

2013 Journal article
A Further Look at Food Insecurity among Ontario’s Child Welfare Involved Population

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa

2017 Information sheet
A Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography Focusing on Aspects of Aboriginal Child Welfare in Canada

Bennett, Marlyn
Blackstock, Cindy

2002 Other
A Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography on Aspects of Aboriginal Child Welfare in Canada: 2nd Edition

Bennett, Marlyn
Blackstock, Cindy
De La Ronde, Richard

2005 Other
A Longitudinal study of the effects of chronic maltreatment on children’s behavioral and emotional problems

Ethier, Louise S.
Lemelin, Jean-Pascal
Lacharité, Carl

2004 Report