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 Yearsort icon Type of Publication
The effect of lowering welfare payment ceilings on children's risk of out-of-home placement

Wildeman, Christopher
Fallesen, Peter

2017 Journal article
Characteristics of Investigations Involving First Nations Children Compared to White Children in Ontario in 2013

Richard, Kenn
Ma, Jennifer
Fallon, Barbara

2018 Information sheet
False Allegations of Abuse and Neglect

Simpson, Megan
Fletcher, Kara
De La Sablonniere-Grifin, Mireille
Trocmé, Nico

2018 Information sheet
Group Home and Residential Treatment Placements in Child Welfare: Analyzing the 2008 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect

Doucet, Mélanie
Marion, Élodie
Trocmé, Nico

2018 Information sheet