This article surveys recent developments in relation to the dimensions of ethnicity and ethnicdisadvantage in social policy research and practice, with a focus on social care. While therehas been limited increase in attention to ethnicity within general policy discussion andincreasing sophistication within specialist debates, advances in theory and methodology havelargely failed to penetrate the research mainstream, let alone policy or practice. This is along-standing problem. We advocate more focussed consideration of ethnicity and ethnicdisadvantage at all levels. Failure to do so creates the risk of social policy research being leftbehind in understanding rapid changes in ethnic minority demographics and patterns of migration, with increasing disadvantage to minorities.