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 Authors Year Type of Publication
Injuries and Death of Children at the Hands of Their Parents

Wegner-Lohin, Jaime
Trocmé, Nico 

2016 Information sheet
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 Maltreatment-Related Service Decisions by Ethno-Racial Categories in Ontario in 2013

Fallon, Barbara
Black, Tara
Van Wert, Melissa
King, Bryn
Filippelli, Joanne
Lee, Barbara
Moody, Brenda

2016 Information sheet
The Intersection of Child Welfare Investigations and Public Housing in Ontario

Potvin, Michael
Black, Tara
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
Ethno-racial Categories and Child Welfare Decisions: Exploring the Relationship with Poverty

Antwi-Boasiako, Kofi
King, Bryn
Black, Tara
Fallon, Barbara
Trocmé, Nico
Goodman, Deborah

2016 Information sheet
Walking this path together: Anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice in child welfare

Carriere, Jeannine
Strega, Susan

2015 Book
Child neglect I: Scope, consequences, and risk and protective factors

Blumenthal, Anne

2015 Information sheet
Child neglect II: Prevention and intervention

Blumenthal, Anne

2015 Information sheet
Legal Age for Leaving Children Unsupervised Across Canada

Ruiz-Casares, Mónica
Radic, Ivana

2015 Information sheet
Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect - 2013 (OIS-2013)

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa
Trocmé, Nico
MacLaurin, Bruce
Sinha, Vandna
Lefebvre, Rachael
Allan, Kate
Black, Tara
Lee, Barbara
Rha, Wendy
Smith, Carrie
Goel, Serena

2015 Report