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
Family Violence Risk Assessment and Safety Planning by Child Intervention Staff: An Environmental Scan

Snyder, Lynda
Babins-Wagner, Robbie

2012 Report
Glossary of Social Work Terms and Child Maltreatment Related Concepts

Sturtridge, Michelle

2013 Other
18-YEAR-OLD PETER: An Investigative Review

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta

2017 Report
Polyvictimization and victimization of children and youth: Results from a populational survey

Cyr, Katie
Chamberland, Claire
Clément, Marie-Ève
Lessard, Geneviève,
Wemmers, Jo-Anne
Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Gangé, Marie-Hélène
Damant, Dominique

2012 Journal article
Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Families who have Experienced Family Violence: A Practice Guide for Child Welfare Professionals

Steering Committe
Native Child & Family Services: Charlene Avalos
Chiefs of Ontario: Lillian Baibomcowai-Dell
Ottawa Inuit Children Centre: Karen Baker Anderson
Native Women’s Centre of Hamilton: Linda Ense
Métis Nation of Ontario: Shelley Gonneville
Ontario Native Women’s Association: Betty Kennedy
Weechi-it-te-win Family Services: Leona McGinnis
Tikinagan Child & Family Services: Thelma Morris
Ontario Native Women’s Association: Kathy Sky
Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres: Terry Swan

Writer
Catalyst Research and Communications: Joan Riggs

2012
Child abuse and mental disorders in Canada

Afifi, Tracie O.
MacMillan, Harriet L.
Boyle, Michael
Taillieu, Tamara
Cheung, Kristene 
Sareen, Jitender 

2014 Journal article
Association of child abuse exposure with suicidal ideation, suicide plans, and suicide attempts in military personnel and the general population in Canada

Afifi, Tracie O.
Taillieu, Tamara
Zamorski, Mark A.
Turner, Sarah
Cheung, Kristene
Sareen, Jitender

2016 Journal article
The Police Reporting Behavior of Intimate Partner Violence Victims

Akers, Caroline
Kaukinen, Catherine

2009 Journal article
Does differential response make a difference: Examining domestic violence cases in child protection services

Alaggia, Ramona
Gadalla, Tahany M.
Shlonsky, Aron
Jenney, Angelique
Daciuk, Joanne

2015 Journal article
In Whose Best Interest? A Canadian Case Study of the Impact of Child Welfare Policies in Cases of Domestic Violence

Alaggia, Ramona
Jenney, Angelique
Mazzuca, Josephine
Redmond, Melissa

2007 Journal article