Social workers are constantly making decisions under pressure. How do policy, law, research and theory influence what they do? This important book provides the answers with a crystal-clear map of the field of social work with children and families. Focused on four major themes - family support work, child protection, adoption and fostering, residential child care - the book brings together expert commentators to: Outline the policy background; Summarize the relevant law; Describe the key theories; Highlight the research findings. A wealth of real life case studies reveal, in detail, the challenges that social workers face every day. Through a series of questions, readers are invited to join in the process of 'Making connexions' between different elements of social work knowledge and practice. Edited by the highly respected Martin Davies, this authoritative and illuminating book argues that the skill of the social worker can have life-enhancing consequences for some of the most vulnerable people in society. It is an essential investment for students, educators and practitioners alike.