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 Publicationsort icon
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
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
A Profile of Investigations with a Noted Child Functioning Concern of FAS/FAE in Canada in 2008

Goodman, Deborah
Lefebvre, Rachael
Fallon, Barbara
Trocmé, Nico

2015 Information sheet
A Profile of Investigations with a Noted Child Functioning Concern of FAS/FAE in Ontario in 2008

Goodman, Deborah
Lefebvre, Rachael
Fallon, Barbara
Trocmé, Nico

2015 Information sheet
A Profile of Investigation Type by Child Age in Ontario in 2013

Filippelli, Joanne
Moody, Brenda
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
A Profile of Intimate Partner Violence Investigations by Child Age in Ontario in 2013

Filippelli, Joanne
Kartusch, Mark
Black, Tara
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
A Profile of Risk Investigations Transferred to Ongoing Services by Child Age in Ontario in 2013

Filippelli, Joanne
Stoddart, Jill
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
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