EcoMaps/Ecological Maps are amazing tools to identify important people in child/youth lives, past and present. It gives a visual representation of the key relationships a child or an individual has based on a strength-based and person-centered perspective.
If the child/youth is emotionally stable enough this is something you do with them. While this is an important activity for the youth, to show ownership of their future and to have some control in their lives, be mindful of the youth's emotional well-being and stability. If unsure, do it with a therapist present.
You do one sheet per foster care placement and the different homes the child lived at while with biological family as well. You are trying to bring up memories of important positive people they were involved with while living in these homes.
When you do this with the child/youth you are giving them back some control over their own lives. When they have more control in the process they will more than likely be accepting of a support network or placement.
There are several different templates depending on the child's age and what they look like, choose the best one for your child.
From this, you can use the information gathered to search these people's contact information with our People Search at Connectourkids.org or within your Family Connections account.
*Permission and guidance may be needed from the primary worker; check with your agency's and or custodial agency's guidelines surrounding EcoMaps.
Some negative memories could also come out, so make sure caregivers are aware and able to offer extra support once they arrive back at their current placement. The child/youth may need time to process the activity.
If you would like further information on EcoMaps please pick a time here and I would be happy to talk with you: https://calendly.com/karen-coates/30-min-meeting