Social workers attacked by clients and pubic
SOCIAL workers have been assaulted, bitten by dogs and verbally abused in the line of duty.
A Freedom of Information request revealed the number of attacks on social workers in the past five years.
In Swansea there were 12 assaults between 2007 and last year.
And in Carmarthenshire there were six incidents in the past five years.
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Neath Port Council said there had been no reported attacks on social workers in that time frame.
Phil Hodgson, Swansea Council's director of social services, said: "We do not tolerate abuse towards any of our staff and will consider prosecution where this is appropriate. We work with staff and partners to prevent and deal with conflict to minimise attacks.
"Attacks are thankfully rare, but we have support in place for any member of staff who may experience verbal or physical abuse."
Swansea Council said all the incidents were "actual assaults" and nine were by clients and three were by members of the public. Out of the 12, seven took place in a client's home, two in a police station, two in a nursing home and one in an interview room.
The council said it could not give out information about the outcome for the attacker or the person who was attacked under Data Protection. However, Carmarthenshire Council did supply the outcome of the attacks for the victims.
On one occasion a social worker was pushed over and suffered whiplash, another was bruised following a dog bite and another was hit in the face, but not injured. There were also two incidents of verbal abuse. These incidents all happened in homes or in communities, except for one instance of verbal abuse which took place in court.
A spokeswoman for Carmarthenshire Council said: "Violent or abusive behaviour towards council employees, or those contracted to work on behalf of the authority, will not be tolerated.
"The council is committed to providing a safe and secure work environment for all its employees."