Care for the elderly, disabled and mentally-ill within and by the community forms a vital part of current social policy. Martin Bulmer argues that this policy is inadequately thought out and rests on a series of poorly founded sociological assumptions. As a result there is a vacuum at the heart of government's social care policy which is likely to lead to ineffective or deteriorating provision for those in need. This book, first published in 1987, will be essential reading for all those concerned with the organization and delivery of social care, whether as students, practitioners or teachers. It will be particularly useful for courses dealing with social policy, the personal social services and the social context of social work.