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 Authorssort icon Year Type of Publication
Child Neglect in Canada

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

2005 Information sheet
The link between maltreatment and juvenile firesetting: Correlates and underlying mechanisms

Root, Carol
MacKay, Sherri
Henderson, Joanna
Del Bove, Giannetta
Warling, Diane

2008 Journal article
Prevalence and correlates of multiplevictimization in anation-wide adolescent sample

Romanoa, Elisa
Bella, Tessa
Billetteb, Jean-Michel

2011 Journal article
Characteristics of Investigations Involving First Nations Children Compared to White Children in Ontario in 2013

Richard, Kenn
Ma, Jennifer
Fallon, Barbara

2018 Information sheet
Association of caregiver social support with the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in child welfare

Rajendran, Khushmand
Smith, Brenda D.
Videka, Lynn

2015 Journal article
A survey of adolescents' perceptions of their relationships with nonparental caregivers in group home settings: An attachment perspective

Rabley, Sarah
Preyde, Michèle
Gharabaghi, Kiaras

2014 Journal article
The Intersection of Child Welfare Investigations and Public Housing in Ontario

Potvin, Michael
Black, Tara
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
Patterns of adjustment among siblings exposed to intimate partner violence

Piotrowski, Caroline C.

2011 Journal article
Exploring taboos: Comparing male- and female-perpetrated child sexual abuse

Peter, Tracey

2009 Journal article
Maternal foster families provide more stable placements than paternal families

Perry, Gretchen
Daly, Martin
Macfarlan, Shane

2014 Journal article