First Nations Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse & Neglect-2019 (FN/CIS-2019) Information sheets

Denouncing the Continued Overrepresentation of First Nations Children in Canadian Child Welfare
First Nations/Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2019



Barbara Fallon, Rachael Lefebvre, Nico Trocmé, Kenn Richard, Sonia Hélie, H. Monty Montgomery, Marlyn Bennett, Nicolette Joh-Carnella, Marie Saint-Girons, Joanne Filippelli, Bruce MacLaurin, Tara Black, Tonino Esposito, Bryn King, Delphine Collin-Vézina, Rachelle Dallaire, Richard Gray, Judy Levi, Martin Orr, Tara Petti, Shelley Thomas Prokop & Shannon Soop


Key findings

  • The legacy of colonialism and the ongoing discrimination and structural inequities experienced by First Nations children, families, and communities are a direct driver behind the disparities observed between child welfare investigations involving First Nations children and non-Indigenous children.
  • First Nations children (0-15 years of age) were 3.6 times more likely to be the subject of a child maltreatment investigation compared to a non-Indigenous child
  • The magnitude of the overrepresentation of First Nations children is consistent to previous cycles
  • Caregivers in investigations involving First Nations children in 2019 were more likely to be facing complex needs, including fewer social supports, experiencing mental health concerns or substance use issues compared to caregiver of non-Indigenous children
  • Investigations of neglect drive the overrepresentation of First Nations children in the child welfare system
  • Disparities between rates of child welfare service dispositions for First Nations and non-Indigenous children grew with every decision across the service continuum; First Nations children are 14 times more likely to be placed in formal out-of-home during the investigation period


  • Only source of nationally aggregated child welfare data
  • Critical to advancing the child welfare knowledge base, building capacity and informing practice and policy efforts
  • Data collected reflect one of the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC): the systematic data collection about the overrepresentation of First Nations children
  • No agency that participated in the study is identified
  • The Governments of Ontario and Quebec have funded provincial incidence studies allowing for data that represents these provinces.



Barbara Fallon:                                                                            

Nico Trocmé:


Bruce MacLaurin:

Sonia Hélie:

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