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
Critical Injuries and Deaths: Reviews and Investigations Update # 20

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

2014 Report
Child abuse and mental disorders in Canada

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

2014 Journal article
Urgent protection versus chronic need: Clarifying the dual mandate of child welfare services across Canada

Trocmé, Nico
Kyte, Alicia
Sinha, Vandna
Fallon, Barbara

2014 Information sheet
Hidden in Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children


2014 Report
Does type of harm matter? A factorial survey examining the influence of child neglect on child protection decision-making

Stokes, Jackie
Taylor, Julie

2014 Journal article
Physical abuse and physical punishment in Canada

Jud, Andreas
Trocmé, Nico

2013 Information sheet
Glossary of Social Work Terms and Child Maltreatment Related Concepts

Sturtridge, Michelle

2013 Other
Child and family poverty in Canada: Implications for child welfare research

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

2013 Information sheet
CYDL Data Byte 7: Hospitalizations of Albertan Youth

Child and Youth Data Laboratory

2013 Report
CYDL Data Byte 10: Maltreatment-related Interventions Received by Albertan Youth

Child and Youth Data Laboratory

2013 Report