Service-user involvement in social work research is much vaunted and considered desirable. Yet, it is not common. This is despite the fact that research-funding bodies are increasingly mandating inclusion of service users in the research process. It would seem timely for the profession to look again at participatory research as an approach to working collaboratively with service users in the co-production of research. This article reviews the arguments for service-user collaboration in social work research; it considers the evolution of service-user engagement and its current status in practice. Building on the foundations of social work research methodologies, the article considers the practicalities of participatory research and the potential barriers. The article draws on vignettes of published participatory research to illustrate this type of research in social work.