Teenager saw 17 professionals in the three years before her murder, says report
The focus was on Becky being ‘problematic’ without considering the circumstances behind her behaviour, the report found.
A report by Bristol Safeguarding Children Board has found the murder of Becky Watts could not have been predicted or prevented.
The 33-page review detailed how Becky’s mother Tanya Watts and father Darren Galsworthy separated when she was born and she spent her early life living with her mother.
Her mother requested a two-week respite placement from children’s services when Becky was aged three, leading to a period where Becky was on the Child Protection Register.
Following the respite, Becky was taken into the care of the local authority due to concerns about neglect. She was placed in foster care before her father was granted a residence order.
In autumn 2011, Becky’s stepmother Anjie Galsworthy visited the local Children and Young People Services to ask for help as Becky was finding it difficult to go to school, had anxieties about being outside the family home and had conflict with her father.
Becky was described as “controlling”, “lacking aspirations” and “not engaged” during an initial assessment – with the report highlighting this as a lack of understanding for her needs.
“From this point on the focus was on Becky being problematic and having problems, without a consideration of what was the cause and what, therefore, might be the solution,” the report stated.
Becky was considered to be a Child in Need but no plan was formulated and there were no meetings or reviews.
The family were then offered support by the Family Intervention Support Services (FISS) but although there were “continued concerns” about Becky’s relationship with her father, he did not engage, the report said.
Becky was then referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services because of her social anxiety and she was seen by a clinical psychologist on numerous occasions.
“Becky’s stepmother provided information about her knowledge and perspective of the family history but this was not checked with Becky’s mother, who had a different view,” the report stated.
Becky was also referred to the Hospital Education Service and she started attending lessons three months later. She also saw staff from Action for Children and the family was referred to therapy.
Becky and her stepmother attended all the therapy sessions, with her mother attending one and her father another.
“The conclusion of the family therapists was that all the adults in Becky’s life faced challenges which meant they could not fully focus on Becky’s needs,” the report said.
In the final session, the conclusion was that Becky’s “traumatic past and current complex family circumstances” were connected to her fear of people and places.
Becky was assessed as having anorexia and was provided with a treatment programme, which resulted in her coping better at school, developing friendships, attending sleepovers and engaging in group activities.
In May 2014, the Hospital Education Service made a referral to Children and Young People Services with concerns of Becky being at risk of sexual exploitation and homelessness.
Action for Children visited the family home and Becky refused to be seen alone, though she was passed leaflets about a local specialist Barnardo’s Child Sexual Exploitation project.
Becky was “erratically” attending post-16 education at the time of her murder, the report stated.
From autumn 2011 to the time of her death, Becky had seen 17 professionals from eight different service providers.