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 Authorssort icon Year Type of Publication
Child Maltreatment and HPA Axis Dysregulation: Relationship to Major Depressive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Females

Shea, Alison
Walsh, Christine
MacMillan, Harriet
Steiner, Meir

2005 Journal article
Changes in Coping Following Treatment for Child Molesters

Serran, Geris A.
Moulden, Heather
Firestone, Philip
Marshall, W.L.

2007 Journal article
Maltreatment and Trauma: Tracking the Connections in Adolescence

Scott, Katreena
Wolfe, David
Wekerle, Christine

2003 Journal article
Single mothers of children with developmental delay: Maltreatment and life stressors

Schormans, Ann Fudge
Brown Ivan

2004 Information sheet
Parent Perspectives on Intensive Intervention for Child Maltreatment

Russell, Mary
Gockel, Annemarie
Harris, Barbara

2007 Journal article
Legal Age for Leaving Children Unsupervised Across Canada

Ruiz-Casares, Mónica
Radic, Ivana

2015 Information sheet
Child Neglect in Canada

Roy, Catherine
Black, Tara
Trocmé, Nico
MacLaurin, Bruce
Fallon, Barbara

2005 Information sheet
The link between maltreatment and juvenile firesetting: Correlates and underlying mechanisms

Root, Carol
MacKay, Sherri
Henderson, Joanna
Del Bove, Giannetta
Warling, Diane

2008 Journal article
Prevalence and correlates of multiplevictimization in anation-wide adolescent sample

Romanoa, Elisa
Bella, Tessa
Billetteb, Jean-Michel

2011 Journal article
Characteristics of Investigations Involving First Nations Children Compared to White Children in Ontario in 2013

Richard, Kenn
Ma, Jennifer
Fallon, Barbara

2018 Information sheet