Children with Noted Physical Disabilities in Maltreatment-Related Investigations in Ontario in 2018

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CWRP Information Sheet #199E. Toronto, ON: Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal.

The Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2018 (OIS-2018) is the sixth provincial study to examine the incidence of reported child maltreatment and the characteristics of children and families investigated by child welfare authorities in Ontario. An estimated 158,476 child maltreatment-related investigations involving children aged 0-17 were conducted by child welfare authorities in 2018. Ten percent of these investigations (an estimated 16,178 investigations) involved a child with a noted disability, including physical and intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Caregivers typically face significant challenges in accessing appropriate and accessible supports and services for their children with disabilities, particularly in a neoliberal context, requiring ongoing advocacy by caregivers. Considered alongside the additional stressors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to control the spread of disease, children with disabilities and their families will have even less access to necessary supports and services and may be made even more vulnerable to maltreatment and child welfare involvement. To understand the nature of the cases involving children with disabilities that are brought to the attention of Ontario child welfare agencies, this Information Sheet examines the profile of the estimated 2,067 child maltreatment-related investigations specifically involving children with noted physical disabilities investigated by Ontario child welfare authorities in 2018.

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