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
The protective effect of neighborhood social cohesion in child abuse and neglect

Maguire-Jack, Kathryn
Showalter, Kathryn

2016 Journal article
What's so different about differential response? A multilevel and longitudinal analysis of child neglect investigations

Janczewski, Colleen E.
Mersky, Joshua P. 

2016 Journal article
Duration in poverty-related programs and number of child maltreatment reports: A multilevel negative binomial study

Hyunil, Kim
Drake, Brett

2016 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
Walking this path together: Anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice in child welfare

Carriere, Jeannine
Strega, Susan

2015 Book
Child neglect I: Scope, consequences, and risk and protective factors

Blumenthal, Anne

2015 Information sheet
Child neglect II: Prevention and intervention

Blumenthal, Anne

2015 Information sheet
Legal Age for Leaving Children Unsupervised Across Canada

Ruiz-Casares, Mónica
Radic, Ivana

2015 Information sheet
Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect - 2013 (OIS-2013)

Fallon, Barbara
Van Wert, Melissa
Trocmé, Nico
MacLaurin, Bruce
Sinha, Vandna
Lefebvre, Rachael
Allan, Kate
Black, Tara
Lee, Barbara
Rha, Wendy
Smith, Carrie
Goel, Serena

2015 Report
Ongoing Child Welfare Services and Referrals to Services by Primary Form of Substantiated Maltreatment in Ontario in 2013

Allan, Kate
Lefebvre, Rachael
Goel, Serena
Fallon, Barbara

2015 Information sheet