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
Neighborhood-level social processes and substantiated cases of child maltreatment

Molnar, Beth E.
Goerge, Robert M.
Gilsanz, Paola
Hill, Andrea
Subramanian, S. V.
Holton, John K.
Duncan, Dustin T.
Beatriz, Elizabeth D.
Beardslee, William R.

2016 Journal article
Sexualized behaviors in cohorts of children in the child welfare system

Grossi, Laura M.
Lee, Austin F.
Schuler, Ann
Ryan, Julie L.
Prentky, Robert A.

2016 Journal article
Understanding the Exponential Increases in Child Protection Investigations for Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence

Fallon, Barbara
Black, Tara
Houston, Emmaline

2016 Information sheet
Childhood maltreatment and the course of depressive and anxiety disorders: The contribution of personality characteristics

Hovens, Jacqueline G. F. M.
Giltay, Erik J.
van Hemert, Albert M.
Penninx, Brenda W. J. H.

2016 Journal article
Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness and Reunification - From Root Causes to Root Solutions: A Report on Indigenous Child Welfare in British Columbia

Grand Chief Ed John

2016 Report