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.

Titlesort icon Authors Year Type of Publication
Which maltreated children are at greatest risk of aggressive and criminal behavior? An examination of maltreatment dimensions and cumulative risk
Van Wert, Melissa
Mishna, Faye
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
2017 Journal article
Who are these parents involved in child neglect? A differential analysis by parent gender and family structure

Dufour, Sarah
Lavergne, Chantal
Larrivée, Marie-Claude
Trocmé, Nico

2008 Journal article
Why are suspected cases of child maltreatment referred by educators so often unsubstantiated?

King, Colin B.
Scott, Katreena L.

2014 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