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

Carriere, Jeannine
Strega, Susan

2009 Book
Substance Use among Adolescents in Child Welfare versus Adolescents in the General Population: A Comparison of the Maltreatment and Adolescent Pathways (MAP) Longitudinal Study and the Ontario Student Drug Use Survey (OSDUS) Datasets

Wekerle, Christine
Leung, Eman
Goldstein, Abby L.
Thornton, Tiffany
Tonmyr, Lil

2009 Report
Profiles of school adaptation: Social, behavioural and academic functioning in sexually abused girls

Daigneault, Isabelle
Hébert, Martine

2009 Journal article
Differentiating between substantiated, suspected, and unsubstantiated maltreatment in Canada

Trocmé, Nico
Knoke, Della
Fallon, Barbara
MacLaurin, Bruce

2009 Journal article
Where is the Justice? Parental Experiences of the Canadian Justice System in Cases of Child Sexual Abuse

Alaggia, Ramona
Lambert, Elizabeth
Regehr, Cheryl

2009 Journal article
Recurrent reporting of child maltreatment: State of knowledge and avenues for research

Hélie, Sonia
Bouchard, Camil

2009 Journal article
Restoring Family Support, Self-Esteem, and Reducing Distress Among Sexually Abused Young Runaways

Edinburgh, Laurel
Homma, Yuko
Saewyc, Elizabeth
Wirkkala, Sara
Mickschl, Leah

2009 Journal article
News Reporting on Aboriginal Child Welfare: Discourses of White Guilt, Reverse Racism, and Failed Policy

Harding, Robert

2009 Journal article
What Canadian Youth Tell Us About Disclosing Abuse

Ungar, Michael
Tutty, Leslie M.
McConnell, Sheri
Barter, Ken
Fairholm, Judi

2009 Journal article
Understanding the Association Between Maltreatment History and Adolescent Risk Behavior by Examining Popularity Motivations and Peer Group Control

Ellis, Wendy E.
Wolfe, David

2009 Journal article