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An eco-map is a pen-and-paper assessment tool that depicts clients’ present relationships to various systems in their environment. In 1975, Dr. Ann Hartman, a social worker and professor, developed ecological maps—eco-maps—as part of her work with the Child Welfare Learning Laboratory at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. The tool was originally designed to help welfare workers understand the needs of families or individuals by depicting systems that influence the family or individual—their ecosystem. Whereas genograms offer a generational view of families and individuals, eco-maps depict them from an environmental perspective. By focusing on current existential functioning, eco-maps provide important information on the here and now.

Ecology is the study of the interaction between living things and their environment. Both ecological and systems theories ...

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