Advocacy and user empowerment
The focus of the previous chapters of this book has been on the practical approaches that ‘workers’ can pursue to meet the needs of service users, hopefully, with the emphasis usually on the needs expressed by the clients themselves, through assessment or consultation processes. It is now vital to conclude with a review of the developments that are of primary importance in the priorities of users and user groups — how best to articulate individual and collective user needs and how to ensure that the provision of services accurately reflects the identified needs. Within the scope of this chapter I also propose to review the debate surrounding the role of the professional regarding advocacy issues and user-led initiatives.
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