In the first two chapters we commented upon the shift from residential care to community care, identifying this, alongside many other developments, as one of the precursors to care management. In doing so we acknowledged that the concerns of social workers about care management were threefold. The first concern, that it is dominated by budgetary and resource matters, has been addressed and will ... [Show full abstract] be returned to at various points in the text. The second, that although the language has changed there is nothing new in care management, will be explored in the next two chapters. There is a counter argument which is that care management will undermine basic social work values and practices, and this will also be explored in the next two chapters. The aim of this chapter is to identify some common strands between the principles and practices of care management and current social work practice. In this we will seek to identify whether care management constitutes a major challenge or change in direction for social work, or whether it can be seen as part of a continuum of flexible and developing practice.