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Domestic abuse support group to close

PUBLISHED: 17:34 08 March 2011 | UPDATED: 17:42 08 March 2011

Julian Nieman/Refuge

Julian Nieman/Refuge

Archant

The closure of a domestic violence support group could lead to the deaths of vulnerable women and children, its head has said.

Welfare project Amali, which deals with serious cases of violence in East End homes, particularly among the Bangladeshi community, was told in January its contract is not being renewed.

Jointly funded by Tower Hamlets Council and NHS Tower Hamlets since 2009, the service will now end in April.

Linda St Louis, manager, said: “People are going to die without services like ours.

“I have emails from senior mental health practitioners and the child protection services telling me how worried they are about the demise of Amali and the impact on their work with children and families.

“Where is the joined up thinking in making sure that families are simply not left and abandoned?”

Most referrals to Amali come from the council’s children’s social care department and Ms St Louis thinks taking away frontline services will lead to an increase in the number of serious case reviews in Tower Hamlets.

Since it began in May 2009, it has helped 189 families.

Almost 400 children have been involved in the cases it has dealt with.

It has three staff members and runs on £157,000 a year.

Tower Hamlets Council said its own support service will deal with cases and no families will be left without care.

A spokesman said: “Our analysis of need suggests that those children and families affected by domestic violence will be better served by our in-house family support services so that they can receive a more holistic and personalised service based on the individual needs of the family.”

Amali is holding an awareness day of the work it does at Rich Mix Studios in Bethnal Green on Thursday.

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