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
The case for specialized health care representatives to recognize and prevent child sexual abuse

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Newfoundland and Labrado

2017 Report
The potential educational benefits of extending foster care to young adults: Findings from a natural experiment

Courtney, Mark E.
Hook, Jennifer L.

2017 Journal article
A cross-national exploration of societal-level factors associated with child physical abuse and neglect

Klevens, Joanne
Ports, Katie A.
Austin, Chelsea
Ludlow, Ivan J.
Hurd, Jacqueline

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

Filippelli, Joanne
Moody, Brenda
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
A Profile of Intimate Partner Violence Investigations by Child Age in Ontario in 2013

Filippelli, Joanne
Kartusch, Mark
Black, Tara
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
A Profile of Risk Investigations Transferred to Ongoing Services by Child Age in Ontario in 2013

Filippelli, Joanne
Stoddart, Jill
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
A prospective study of the impact of child maltreatment and friend support on psychological distress trajectory: From adolescence to emerging adulthood

Dion, Jacinthe
Matte-Gagné, Célia
Daigneault, Isabelle
Blackburn, Marie-Eve
Hébert, Martine
McDuff, Pierre
Auclair, Julie
Veillette, Suzanne
Perron, Michel

2016 Journal article
Expression of re-experiencing symptoms in the therapeutic context: a mixed-method analysis of young children exposed to intimate partner violence

Miller-Graff, Laura E.
Galano, Maria
Graham-Bermann, Sandra A.

2016 Journal article
Language problems among abused and neglected children: A meta-analytic review

Sylvestre, Audette
Bussières, Ève-Line
Bouchard, Caroline

2016 Journal article
Approach with Caution: Why the Story of One Vulnerable B.C. Youth Can't Be Told

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

2016 Report