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The Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect - 2008 is the third nation-wide study to examine the incidence of reported child maltreatment and the characteristics of the children and families investigated by Canadian child welfare services.
An estimated 235,842 maltreatment-related investigations were conducted across Canada during 2008. The number of investigations has not changed significantly between 2003 and 2008.
Thirty-six percent of the 2008 investigations were substantiated (i.e., the balance of evidence indicated that maltreatment had occurred) - 85,440 child investigations.
Eighteen percent of substantiated investigations involved more than one category of substantiated maltreatment.
The incidence of substantiated maltreatment was nearly identical for males and females.
In some jurisdictions, cases of physical and sexual abuse involving perpetrators who are not related to the child are investigated by police alone without the involvement of child welfare workers; they are not reported in this study. The estimates should therefore be interpreted cautiously.
Aboriginal children were identified as a key group because of concerns regarding over-representation of these children in the foster care system. The incidence rate of substantiated child maltreatment investigations was four times higher in Aboriginal child investigations than in non-Aboriginal child investigations.
Reference: Public Health Agency of Canada. Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect - 2008: Major Findings. Ottawa, 2010.
For Further Information: Visit www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cm-vee/public-eng.php or call the Injury and Child Maltreatment Section at (613) 957-4689.