Some people think you have to complete an ecomap before conducting a successful Routines-Based InterviewTM. Although it might be helpful to do so, actually an ecomap isn’t a prerequisite to an RBI. The real value of the ecomap is during solution finding or problem solving in family consultation. Family consultation is the key ingredient in support-based home visits. When working with a family to find a solution for addressing an outcome, the early interventionist should ask the family to consider whether anyone in their support system, as depicted on an ecomap, might be able to help.
But to do an RBI, the only part of the ecomap you really need is the inside box: who lives in the home.
In the RBI Certification Institute, we train people to complete an ecomap before the RBI, principally to imbue them with this extra skill. In service delivery, the ecomap can be done at an earlier visit than that in which the RBI is conducted. Some professionals complete it at the intake visit. It is possible although not desirable to have different people complete the ecomap and an RBI. As with all other parts of service delivery, by far the best solution is to have the same person or people involved all through intake, eligibility determination, IFSP development, and service delivery.
To repeat: It’s helpful but not necessary to have an ecomap completed before conducting an RBI.