The provincial/territorial incidence studies of reported child abuse and neglect are province or territory-wide studies examining the incidence of reported child maltreatment and the characteristics of the children and families investigated by provincial/territorial child welfare services. These studies were conducted as part of the cycles of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS). Provincial incidence studies tracked child maltreatment investigations conducted in a representative sample of child welfare service areas across their respective provinces/territories during a three-month window. Weighted provincial/territorial annual estimates were derived based on these investigations.
Provincial/territorial incidence studies have been conducted in: Ontario (1993, 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2013), Alberta (2003, 2008 and 2014), Quebec (1998, 2008 and 2014), Saskatchewan (2008), British Columbia (2008), and the Northwest Territories (2003).
Changes in 2008
Changes have occurred in investigation mandates and practices in Canada over the last ten years and this has had an impact upon the types of cases that fall within the scope of this study. In particular, Canadian child welfare authorities are receiving more reports about situations where the primary concern is that a child may be at risk of future maltreatment but where there are no specific concerns about a possible incident of maltreatment that may have already occurred. Because the 2008 incidence studies are designed to track investigations of alleged incidents of maltreatment, it is important to maintain a clear distinction between investigations where there is a risk of future maltreatment and investigations where maltreatment that may have already occurred. The 2008 incidence studies were designed to separately track both types of investigations.