This article will examine empowerment through policy at three levels: governmental, service and 'street'. It will focus in particular on 'street level' policy, drawing on qualitative interviews and an analysis of documentation within a day centre for adults with learning difficulties. The recorded behaviour of the workers and the structure of the day centre affected service users' experience of power. This is discussed through the theoretical construction of the organization's 'service forum' that contains its 'posture', a set of formal values and beliefs owned by the organization, and the 'culture', which is the unofficial day-to-day presentation of the service. Finally the use of such an approach is considered with regards to the future analysis of services for people with learning difficulties.