Promoting participation and partnership at the micro-level of the encounter between service users and practitioners can be seen as a means to empower people who come into contact with social services. Social workers are very often in contact with people in a marginalized position the poor, single parents, the homeless. The idea of participation in relation to direct social-work practice, however, has been interpreted in different ways, with different meanings being attached to the word participation. The level of participation can vary considerably. The client's participation in social work practice has been seen either in terms of compliance taking an active part by doing things as told' or as participating in decision-making in a manner that influences the process and the intervention. Legislation, particularly in Western countries in recent decades, has considered and ensured participation by clients and families in decision-making in most social work fields.