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Ecomap

An ecomap shows the network of people around a child or young person diagrammatically. Family, friends and professionals are included.

The Child is placed at the centre of the diagram. Each person and organisations that forms a part of the child or young person's network is named and placed within a circle.

Where there is a connection between the child or young person and an individual and organisation the nature of the relationship is illustrated by a line drawn between them.

An unbroken line illustrates a strong or close relationship. For example:


A line of dashes illustrates a weak relationship. For example:


A stressful relationship is illustrated by a dotted line. For example:


Using an ecomap

Ecomaps are very useful in obtaining an overview of the complexity of the network of family, friends and professionals that surround a child.

Ecomaps may help professionals to identify patterns and actual and potential areas of conflict in the child's relationships.

Ecomaps may also help practitioners to plan interventions.

Further information on ecomaps can be found on page 30 of Assessing Children in Need and their Families: Practice Guidance (Department of Health, 2000).

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By Steve Walker, David Shemmings and Hedy Cleaver
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