Child Welfare Across Canada

Child welfare services fall under the mandate of provincial and territorial governments, including a rapidly expanding system of Aboriginal child welfare authorities. This section contains material related to federal initiatives concerned with child welfare services as well as statistics compiled at the national level.

All Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect reports can be found here

National - Statistics

Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada, 1998 and 2008*

  1998 2008
Child population 6,301,295 6,022,005
Number of child maltreatment investigations 134,566 235,842
Incidence of child maltreatment investigations per 1,000 children 21.36 39.16


Type of Child Maltreatment Investigation in Canada, 2008*

  Number Rate per 1,000 children Percent
Maltreatment Investigation 174,411 28.97 74%
Risk Investigation 61,431 10.19 26%


Primary Categories of Substantiated Child Maltreatment Investigations in Canada, 2008*

Category of Maltreatment Number Rate per 1,000 children Percent
Physical Abuse 17,212 2.86 20%
Sexual Abuse 2,607 0.43 3%
Neglect 28,939 4.81 34%
Emotional Maltreatment 7,423 1.23 9%
Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence 29,259 4.86 34%


Placement in Child Maltreatment Investigations in 1998 and in Child Maltrement and Risk Investigations in Canada in 2008*

  1998 Number 1998 Rate 2008 Number 2008 Rate
Informal Kinship Care 5,851 0.93 8,713 1.45
Formal Placement 11,003 1.74 10,886 1.81


Public Health Agency of Canada. (2010). Canadian incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect 2008: Major findings (p. 122). Public Health Agency of Canada. Retrieved from http://cwrp.ca/publications/2117

Title Authors Yearsort icon Type
Maltreatment-related investigations involving children and youth with disabilities in Canada in 2008

Bogossian, Aline
MacCulloch, Radha
Trocmé, Nico

2014 Information sheet
Research Brief: Interventions to Prevent Child Maltreatment

MacMillan, Harriet L.  
Wathen, C. Nadine

2014 Report
Research Brief: Resilience, Mental Health and Family Violence

MacMillan, Harriet L.
Wathen, C. Nadine

2014 Report
Research Brief: Identifying and Responding to Intimate Partner Violence Against Women

MacMillan, Harriet L.
Wathen, C. Nadine

2014 Report
Taking action together on shared priorities ~ for the future of Indigenous peoples and all of Canada. Submission to the council of the federation

Assembly of First Nations

2014 Report
Physical abuse and physical punishment in Canada

Jud, Andreas
Trocmé, Nico
 

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

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

2013 Information sheet
Recommendations for Canada from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

The Office of the Pronicial Advocate for Children and Youth (Ontario)
UNICEF Canada

2013 Report
Sexual Abuse Investigations by Level of Substantiation in Canada in 2008

Lefebvre, Rachael
Van Wert, Melissa
Fallon, Barbara
Trocmé, Nico

2012 Information sheet
CIS-2008 Major Findings Supplementary Tables: Caregiver Age by Primary Substantiated Maltreatment and Risk

Allan, Kate
Lefebvre, Rachael
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara

2012 Information sheet

National - Legislation

Child welfare services fall under the jurisdiction of provincial and territorial authorities as a result each province and territory has different legislation pertaining to child protection interventions. For more information click here.

The only child welfare regulations and legislation that apply to all provinces and territories are the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development First Nations Child and Family Services National Program Manual and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child: