The notion of 'vulnerability' is now a prominent motif in social policy in the UK and beyond, with important implications for those deemed 'vulnerable'. Yet the effects of recalibrating welfare and criminal justice processes on the basis of vulnerability often escape attention. This distinctive book draws together lived experiences of vulnerability with academic and practical applications of the concept, exploring the repercussions of a 'vulnerability zeitgeist' in UK policy and practice. Through a focus on the voices and perspectives of 'vulnerable' young people and the professionals who support them, it questions how far the rise of vulnerability serves the interests of disadvantaged citizens. Illuminating where support shades into more controlling practices, the book is important reading for scholars, students and policymakers interested in exclusion, precariousness, deviance and youth.