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
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
Police charging decisions in child maltreatment investigations: Findings from the 2008 Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect

Baiden, Philip
Fallon, Barbara
den Dunnen, Wendy
Black, Tara

2016 Journal article
Delineating disproportionality and disparity of Asian-Canadian versus White-Canadian households in the child welfare system

Lee, Barbara
Fuller-Thomson, Esme
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
Black, Tara

2016 Journal article
Child abuse and physical health in adulthood
Afifi, Tracie O.
MacMillan, Harriet L. 
Boyle, Michael
Cheung, Kristene
Taillieu, Tamara
Turner, Sarah
Sareen, Jitender
2016 Journal article
Individual- and relationship-level factors related to better mental health outcomes following child abuse: Results from a nationally representative Canadian sample
Afifi, Tracie O.
MacMilan, Harriet L. 
Taillieu, Tamara
Turner, Sarah
Cheung, Kristine
Sareen, Jitender 
Boyle, Michael H. 
2016 Journal article