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
A profile of reported emotional maltreatment in Canada in 2008

Kozlowski, Anna
Lwin, Kristin
Fallon, Barbara

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

UNICEF

2014 Report
An Epidemiological Study of Children Exposure to Violence in the Fragile Families Study
McLanahan, Sarah
Bryant-Davis, Thema 
Holcombe, Caroline 
James, Sarah 
Adams, Tyonna 
Gray, Anthea 
2014 Report
Research Brief: Resilience, Mental Health and Family Violence

MacMillan, Harriet L.
Wathen, C. Nadine

2014 Report
Research Brief: Identifying and Responding to Intimate Partner Violence Against Women

MacMillan, Harriet L.
Wathen, C. Nadine

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
Dating violence among child welfare involved youth: Results from the Maltreatment and Adolescent Pathway (MAP) longitudinal study

Tanaka, Masako
Wekerle, Christine

2014 Journal article
Predicting suicidal ideations in sexually abused female adolescents: a 12-month prospective study

Brabant, Marie-Eve
Hébert, Martine
Chagnon, François

2014 Journal article
The stability of child protection placements in Quebec, Canada

Esposito, Tonino
Trocmé, Nico
Chabot, Martin
Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Shlonsky, Aron
Sinha, Vandna

2014 Journal article
Responding to intimate partner violence: Child welfare policies and practices

Nikolova, Kristina
Fallon, Barbara
Black, Tara
Allan, Kate

2014 Journal article