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
Maternal foster families provide more stable placements than paternal families

Perry, Gretchen
Daly, Martin
Macfarlan, Shane

2014 Journal article
A survey of adolescents' perceptions of their relationships with nonparental caregivers in group home settings: An attachment perspective

Rabley, Sarah
Preyde, Michèle
Gharabaghi, Kiaras

2014 Journal article
Girls in residential care: From child maltreatment to trauma-related symptoms in emerging adulthood

van Vugt, Eveline
Lanctot, Nadine
Paquette, Genevieve
Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Lemieux, Annie

2014 Journal article
Maltreatment-related Investigations with a Grandparent as a Primary Caregiver in Ontario in 2008

Hollingshead, Matthew
Lefebvre, Rachael
Van Wert, Melissa
Fallon, Barbara

2014 Information sheet
Maltreatment-related Investigations Involving Primary Caregivers with a History of Being in Foster Care and/or Group Home Care in Ontario in 2008

Brady, Eavan
Lefebvre, Rachael
Van Wert, Melissa
Fallon, Barbara

2014 Information sheet
A controlled evaluation of family behavior therapy in concurrent child neglect and drug abuse

Donohue, Brad
Azrin, Nathan H.
Bradshaw, Kelsey
Van Hasselt, Vincent B.
Cross, Chad L.
Urgelles, Jessica
Romero, Valerie
Hill, Heather H.
Allen, Daniel N. 

2014 Journal article
A randomized trial of wraparound facilitation versus usual child protection services

Browne, Dillon T.
Puente-Duran, Sofia
Shlonsky, Aron
Thabane, Lehana
Verticchio, Dominic

2014 Journal article
Physical abuse and physical punishment in Canada

Jud, Andreas
Trocmé, Nico

2013 Information sheet
Glossary of Social Work Terms and Child Maltreatment Related Concepts

Sturtridge, Michelle

2013 Other
Child and family poverty in Canada: Implications for child welfare research

de Boer, Kaila
Rothwell, David W.
Lee, Christopher

2013 Information sheet