The State of the Child in Ontario


206 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-19-540826-8
DDC 305.23'09713




Edited by Richard Barnhorst and Laura C. Johnson
Reviewed by Claude A. Guldner

Claude Guldner is Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Centre at
the University of Guelph.


This book should become a companion to every child researcher, teacher,
and child agency administrator in Ontario. Each chapter expands in depth
on the demographic data reflecting Ontario’s children and families.
The first chapter presents a demographic overview, bringing us up to
date as of 1986. These data are often compared with previous studies
conducted in 1981 and 1976. The remainder of the book focuses on
specific areas in depth: the economic circumstances of Ontario’s
families and children; child care in Ontario; child welfare services;
child health in Ontario; education and the child; youth employment;
young offenders; and children’s habitat.

The book’s design is excellent, using color graphics in the many
tables and charts. As comprehensive as the book is, a few gaps do stand
out. It would seem important to have a chapter on minority children;
though this subject is touched upon from time to time, it is significant
enough at this time in Ontario to have had a major focus. A more
specific chapter should be devoted to mental health services for
children, not just protective services. A significant part of this
chapter would need to focus on treatment issues related to sexual abuse
and children from households with physical violence. These are issues
beyond protection. Another chapter could focus upon children of divorce
and in single-parent households, again a topic discussed at various
points in the book, but significant enough for a focused chapter.
Despite these gaps, this is a very important contribution to the field
and a welcome compilation of much-needed data for anyone working with
children and youth.


“The State of the Child in Ontario,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,