This introductory chapter begins by briefly setting out the main objectives of the book. The first is to question current approaches to ‘community care’, in which the meaning of community is ill-defined and the concept of care is taken for granted. The second aim is to identify effective strategies and practices, and the thinking that lies behind these, through which individuals may be supported to live normally and safely within communities regardless of income and wealth, age, impairment, gender, or ethnicity. This includes not only those who come under the conventional community care umbrella – older people and those with physical and sensory impairments and mental health problems – but families with young people under anti-social behaviour orders and women experiencing domestic violence as well. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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