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
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
An unbroken line illustrates a strong or close relationship.
A line of dashes illustrates a weak relationship. For
A stressful relationship is illustrated by a dotted line.
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
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).
Integrated Children's System