How Are Ecomaps Made?


Quick Answer

An ecomap is created by drawing a large circle in the center of a page and drawing squares (males) and circles (females) to show the immediate family of a child. Lines are then drawn between the squares and circles to represent the familial relationships between each person, denoting everything from stressful to relaxed relationships and the strength of those relationships.

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Full Answer

Ecomaps are tools used by sociologists and psychologists for the purposes of placing individual families in a larger ecological setting. Ecomaps help sociologists and psychologists pinpoint and fix problems existing between families and surrounding environments, such as lack of resources like education, food and shelter.

Ecomaps help to show the flow of resources to find the amount of resources reaching families and to find areas where resources are scarce, or fail to flow from environment to family. Smaller circles from around the larger family circle represent external influences, such as church, school and healthcare facilities that shape family behavior.

Ecomaps come in particularly handy when working with families of immigrants and refugees. State and local social service agencies often use the mapping to determine areas of disconnection and isolation so that each family's needs can be addressed within the larger community.

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