As part of Child Protection Week, National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) have released the resource paper Prevention of child abuse and neglect. The paper presents findings from recent research that identify activities and strategies to foreground the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect in community awareness and social policy. Though the Australian child protection system currently expends the most resources at the tertiary level for ‘at-risk’ children and families, the number of children in contact with the system continues to increase. The paper considers the broader social value of a universal preventative approach, as has been modelled successfully by other public health initiatives such as reducing smoking. The paper outlines the features of such successful public health interventions, including how to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors associated with child abuse and neglect.