Source: (2004) Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.31 (1): 7-26.Two of the dichotomies or tensions at the heart of this profession are especially important for the themes of this special issue on restorative justice and responsive regulation. These are the relation between formal and informal helping and between care and control, or empowerment and coercion. In this article, we make a case for the importance of Braithwaite’s work, especially his (2002) book, Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation, for conceptualizing the nature of social work in relation to these dualities. Since Braithwaite’s writings do not have social work or social welfare scholars and professionals as their primary audience and are less familiar to much of that audience than they should be, we seek here to provide a context for reading both Braithwaite and this issue of the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. (author's abstract).