Major changes have been taking place in social care throughout the UK, resulting in new and complex responsibilities being given to an estimated third of a million of social services staff. Drawing on extensive survey material, this book explores the work histories of social services staff, describes their current jobs and examines their work experiences. It provides detailed evidence of abuse and violence at work, satisfaction and stress in the workplace, and staff's experience of racism and discrimination, gender issues and education and training. This ground-breaking book provides comprehensive information on a workforce about which very little has been known to date. It uniquely draws on comparisons between England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, looking at managers, social work staff, home care workers and residential workers. Social services: working under pressure is essential reading for academics and students in social work and social policy, employers, staff themselves, social services users and the wider audience concerned about welfare and social policy.