Recent developments in the Irish child welfare system have involved a targeted move towards the provision of accessible help at a more timely point for children, young people and their families. It is widely accepted that preventing maltreatment to or minimizing the harm experienced by children and young people is the desired approach in social service provision. However, it is only in the very recent past that this has translated into a practical orientation within service provision in Ireland. To this end, there has been a significant reorientation of the child welfare landscape towards a dedicated focus on prevention and family support. This change has coincided with the establishment of a new statutory Child and Family Agency - Tusla. Prior to this, child protection and welfare was delivered as part of a wider health and social services programme including hospital and primary care. This paper considers the traditional attitudes to, and arrangements for, help seeking and help providing in Ireland and debates the current approaches and their future potential.