Significant value is attached by service users to the variegated approaches employed by social workers. Some of these approaches are. first, providing advice, advocacy and information. second, assisting people in their negotiations with state agencies, such as those in the areas of financial support and housing. third, making available counselling and other forms of psycho – therapeutic support. fourth, providing practical help and guidance. fifth, obtaining access to financial support for service users (Beresford, 2007).
User engagement can be promoted by social workers, by either assisting users to access advocacy or by acting as advocates. Advocacy does not always consist of conflicts of interests and in case where this is true, the social worker has to protect the interests of the user (Gallagher & Smith, 2010).
The various advances in the involvement of service users in social work have been amalgamated in legislation. This establishes a basis for forging a novel relationship between service providers and service users. Several benefits have accrued to service users and services, due to the involvement of service users in the planning and delivery of services (Service User Involvement, 2007).
Some of these benefits are enumerated in the sequel. Service users develop new skills, improve their self – esteem and efficiency, enhance service ownership and adapt services to conform to their requirements. On the other hand, social work benefits in the following manner. The services provided acquire a user orientation, greater efficiency in the services provided, recruitment of appropriate personnel, and promotion of the social reintegration goals of the services.