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Discretion has re-emerged as an issue of central importance for welfare professionals over the last two decades in the face of an intensification of management culture across the public sector. It is an issue that encapsulates the tension between increased regulation and the need for initiative and creativity by practitioners in policy implementation. This book presents an innovative framework for the analysis of discretion, offering three accounts of managerialism: the domination model, the street level model and the author's alternative discursive perspective. These different regimes of discretion are examined through a case study within a social services department, comparing and contrasting social work discretion in an Older Persons Team and a Mental Health Team. This is an innovative theoretical and empirical analysis of a key component of contemporary managerialist culture in the social services, and will be of great interest to postgraduate students and researchers in social work and related disciplines including social policy, public administration and organisational studies, and to professionals in social work, health and education.