The Coercive Social Worker: British Lessons for American Social Services focuses on the role of social services in public departments of welfare, with emphasis on the enormous power of the social worker to impose the casework plan on the client. It explains how traditional social work theory combines with the delivery of "hard" services in the integrated, comprehensive family service to produce social workers with such power. Some of the lessons that can be learned by American social service agencies from the British experience are discussed. Comprised of seven chapters, this volume begins with a historical background on Britain's public social service program, launched in 1970 to provide a comprehensive, integrated family service at the local government level. The significance of the British experience to American social services is considered, with particular reference to the relationship between social work theory and social service policy and administration. The foundations of the modern welfare state are also discussed, along with social services in America in an income maintenance setting. The final chapter examines the problems facing the consumer of a comprehensive, integrated family service; the creation and implementation of administrative discretion in the social service context; legal rights of consumers; and alternative systems for the delivery of social services. This book is intended for social work professionals, administrators, policymakers, and advocates of the rights of people who deal with social welfare agencies.