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
CIS-2008 Major Findings Supplementary Tables: Previous Case Openings by Primary Substantiated Maltreatment and Risk

Lefebvre, Rachael
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara

2012 Information sheet
CIS-2008 Major Findings Supplementary Tables: Source(s) of Referral by Primary Substantiated Maltreatment and Risk

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

2012 Information sheet
CIS-2008 Major Findings Supplementary Tables: Household Source of Income by Primary Substantiated Maltreatment and Risk

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

2012 Information sheet
Early childhood development: Adverse experiences and developmental health

Boivin, Michel
Hertzman, Clyde
Barr, Ronald G.
Boyce, W.  Thomas
Fleming, Alison
MacMillan, Harriet
Odgers, Candice
Sokolowski, Marla B.
Trocmé, Nico 

2012 Report
Distinguishing between poor/dysfunctional parenting and child emotional maltreatment

Wolfe, David A.
McIssac, Caroline

 

2012 Report
Are we doing enough? A status report on Canadian public policy and child and youth health, 2012 edition

Canadian Paediatric Society

2012 Report
Invited response to Concluding Observations for the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Canada’s 19th and 20th reports on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

UNICEF Canada

2012 Report
A comparison of First Nations and non-Aboriginal children investigated for maltreatment in Canada in 2003

MacLaurin, Bruce
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
Blackstock, Cindy
Pitman, Lisa
McCormack, Megan

2011 Information sheet
Inuit Child Welfare and Family Support: Policies, Programs and Strategies

Rae, Lisa

2011 Report
Kiskisik Awasisak: Remember the Children. Understanding the Overrepresentation of First Nations Children in the Child Welfare System

Sinha, Vandna
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
MacLaurin, Bruce
Fast, Elizabeth
Prokop, Shelley Thomas
et al.

2011 Report

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: