Pennsylvania criticized for how it handles elder abuse cases

Wednesday, January 9, 2019, The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania state watchdog agency is criticizing how county-level agencies investigate thousands of complaints they receive about elder abuse and how the state ensures complaints are investigated adequately.

Among the shortcomings identified by the Office of State Inspector General were failures to properly investigate complaints under timelines required by state law. A six-page summary of the report says investigative practices aren’t standardized across counties and it criticizes training requirements for caseworkers who are fielding a fast-growing number of complaints.

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Pennsylvania pushes counties to improve elder-abuse casework

Marc Levy | Saturday, December 16, 2017, Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Frustrated by shortcomings it has identified in elder-abuse investigations, Pennsylvania is trying to take a harder line with county agencies that were tasked with fielding nearly 30,000 complaints last year.

The Department of Aging is starting to grade counties on a more aggressive compliance schedule after telling some they had failed, sometimes repeatedly, to meet regulations and expectations on how complaints must be handled.

Among the shortcomings identified by state inspectors were failures to show investigations had started within the timeframe dictated by state law and inadequately investigating a complaint and logging the casework, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

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