Last year in Sunnyside there were 486 reports of child abuse, according to the Sunnyside Children's Administration Staff, which is taking a step this Saturday to raise public awareness of child abuse and its prevention.
Staff members will be in the Sunnyside Mid-Valley Mall from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 15, to speak with the public about general issues of child neglect and offer child identification cards with pictures provided.
There will also be a reading corner, foster parent recruitment and a raffle for bicycles.
On Saturday, April 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., staff will provide information on car seat safety, in addition to featuring a reading corner, raffle and foster parent recruitment.
On both dates staff will be available to talk about child abuse and neglect.
Noting that child abuse and neglect takes many forms, a Children's Administration spokeswoman said 189 of the 486 cases reported last year were accepted for investigation.
"There are a great number of incidents of child abuse and neglect that go unreported. The impact on children and their families is devastating," she added.
The two events at the Mid-Valley Mall are being held in conjunction with Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is observed in April nationally.
The public is invited to drop in at one or both events in an effort to improve the well being of children in the Yakima Valley communities.