Ecomaps

For use with: parent/carers, children aged 5-15, young people aged 16-18

 

What is an Ecomap?

An Ecomap shows the network of people around the child or family through a diagram. The child is placed at the centre of the diagram; each person and organisation that forms a part of the child or young person’s network is named and placed within a circle.

 

When would you use it?

Ecomaps can help you gain valuable information about the child and their interactions with the people around them.  Some families or children may prefer this to the more formal structure of a genogram.  It takes a relatively short period of time to complete with the child or family.

Ecomaps are not a static record as family relationships change, therefore they should be undertaken on a number of occasions to map the changes during your work with the child or young person.

 

How would you use it?

1. The child is placed at the centre of the diagram. Draw a large circle (or other shape as chosen by the child) in the middle to represent the child

2. Smaller circles around the child are then drawn to represent different people in the child’s life.  This shouldn’t be restricted to family members but all people significant to the child or young people.  It is important to establish who is part of the child’s life, this may involve asking about family members, pets, friends and workers.

3. Where there is a connection between the child or young person and an individual and/or organisation, the nature of the relationship is illustrated by a line drawn between them.  Each person and organisation that forms a part of the child or young person’s network is named and placed within a circle.  Different lines can be used to indicate the nature of the link or relationship. For example:

_______________ Strong

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  Weak

------------------------  Stressful

4. When working with children it is preferable to use moveable objects to represent their ecomap. The child can then move them around to indicate what their feelings are and how they may change. This is similar to sculpting exercises.

Depending upon the age of the child it may take two sessions to complete the Ecomap. At the end of the exercise make sure the child or young person is able to have a copy of their Ecomap. 

This can change over time therefore you may wish to repeat the process during your time with the child or young person.

 

Example Ecomap


Example ecomap

Example of an Ecomap worksheet

Ecomap - Practitioners Tool Kit

 

Click here for a printable version of this Tool