Child maltreatment  prevention aims to address the potential threat to children's physical and emotional safety and well-being while building personal attributes, nurturing relationships and supportive environments that equip children with the resilience to thrive and withstand adversity.
Prevention approaches or interventions have these characteristics:
- Available to both the general population and a
higher risk sub-group of the population
- Target parents and parental needs before or in the very early stages of concerning events or behavior
- Address the risk of and prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of child abuse and neglect
The Prevention Board focuses on primary prevention programs, services and approaches to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect before it occurs and to build Protective Factors which act as buffers against adversity while also promoting the optimal child development. Strategies are offered to all families universally without identifying their individual level of risk or likelihood of child maltreatment.
"Because maltreatment is so difficult to predict, prevention approaches that strengthen protective factors among at-risk families broadly – even if the risk is low – are likely to be most effective in preventing maltreatment."
– Child Trends