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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Frustrated by shortcomings it has identified in elder-abuse investigations, Pennsylvania is trying to take a harder line with county agencies that field thousands of complaints a year.

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

According to documents reviewed by The Associated Press, shortcomings identified by state inspectors include failing to show that investigations had started within the timeframe dictated by state law or adequately investigating a complaint and logging the casework.

A county now could have as little as four months to improve its performance before it loses the responsibility.

Pennsylvania is among many states dealing with fast-rising caseloads and funding that isn’t growing.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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