This ground-breaking book provides invaluable insight into the diverse nature of social work practice within the British Isles. It is written at a time of significant change, when there is devolution within the United Kingdom and also development of closer cross-border governmental structures with Ireland. It also comes at a time when national identity is a key issue. Far from presenting a unified picture of social work in these regions, the contributors show how varied practice provision can be, reflecting the importance of lessons that can be learnt from within and without national boundaries, promoting a more subtle understanding of the interweaving of culture, history and social care. The contributors explore key differences in social work's role and character, and the legal systems and organisational structures in which it operates in the different regions. This fascinating and important book is essential reading for social workers in the British Isles and all over the world. The focus and main value of this text is the comparison of how history, culture and national identity affect the provision of social care and social work practice in the different countries. The book is clearly written, with writers keeping to a similar structure for their chapters.