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
Child welfare responses linked to subtypes of exposure to intimate partner violence: Evidence from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect
Gonzalez, Andrea
MacMillan, Harriet
Tanaka, Masako
Jack, Susan M. 
Tonmyr, Lil
2017 Journal article
The journey of obtaining services: The realities of male survivors of childhood sexual abuse
Gagnier, Charlotte
Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Sablonnière-Griffin, Mireille De La
2017 Journal article
Correlates of admitted sexual interest in children among individuals convicted of child pornography offenses
Seto, Michael C.
Eke, Angela W.
2017 Journal article
Which maltreated children are at greatest risk of aggressive and criminal behavior? An examination of maltreatment dimensions and cumulative risk
Van Wert, Melissa
Mishna, Faye
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
2017 Journal article
Testing the limits: Extending attachment-based intervention effects to infant cognitive outcome and parental stress
Dubois-Comtois, Karine
Cyr, Chantal
Tarabulsy, George M. 
St-Laurent, Diane
Bernier, Annie
Moss, Ellen
2017 Journal article
Pathways linking childhood maltreatment and adolescent sexual risk behaviors: The role of attachment security
Thibodeau, Marie-Eve
Lavoie, Francine
Hébert, Martine
Blais, Martin
2017 Journal article
Trauma-symptom profiles of adolescents in child welfare
Gallitto, Elena
Lyons, Jennifer
Weegar, Kelly
Romano, Elisa
2017 Journal article
Factors associated with racial differences in child welfare investigative decision-making in Ontario, Canada

King, Bryn
Fallon, Barbara
Boyd, Reiko
Black, Tara
Antwi-Boasiako, Kofi
O'Connor, Carolyn

2017 Journal article
Summary Report: Five Years of Investigations April 1, 2012–March 31, 2017

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta

2017 Report
A Profile of Investigation Type by Child Age in Ontario in 2013

Filippelli, Joanne
Moody, Brenda
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet