Since January 1, 2009 came into force in Slovakia the new act on social services and the new act on direct payments for compensation of severe disability. Implementation of the both mentioned acts affects
relatively wide spectrum of institutions and organisations operating in social field, particularly the specialised state administration (district offices of labour, social affairs and family) and regional and local self-administration (the upper territorial unit offices and municipalities). The author stresses primarily those attributes of the new social legislation which provides the mentioned offices with possibilities to activate various stakeholders, mainly service users. In the first part of the paper, key pieces of knowledge concerning users-involvement and participation based on the foreign literature are placed. In the core part a legal Slovakian framework for participation is analysed. The new articipation institutes are analysed on the three levels – the level of service-users, the level of various professionals and organisations operating in the social work field and the level of a new knowledge creation in social work. Within the discussion the author tries to name some potential risks (threats) which could decrease utilising of participative capital in the social administration practice.
participation, participative approach, social work services, reflexive social work, principles of participation