During the last 10-15 years Danish social policy has been permeated by an
increased focus on cost-effectiveness and strategies for return-on-investment, but we have very limited research knowledge about what these developments mean for the quality of the social services for vulnerable children and their families. The purpose of this research project is to develop empirical and theoretical knowledge about the forms and possibilities of care in social work in Denmark under the current conditions. The project is carried out using ethnographic, experimental and mobile methods to explore relational, emotional and embodied practices in ‘classical’ forms of social services with vulnerable children and their families such as case work, home based counselling and family treatment. This knowledge is crucial in developing a contextual theory of care and to clarify a broader controversial question: Does social work care?