The National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS) is proud to be working with KidSafe Photographer, a photo industry network of committed professionals as well as national and international photography associations providing a KidSafe environment.
The advancements in photography from film to digital imagery have created a wealth of opportunities for the youth sports photographers to better serve the photographic needs and wants of their most valued customers, the youth sports participants.
At the forefront of this issue is the need to assure a kid safe environment in which our children can be fostered in good sportsmanship and learn the tremendous upsides from team fellowship and athletics. Providing a safe, clean, and fun environment is important for the sport to continue to grow and thrive.
So what's the problem?
- On the one hand, the photography technological advances allow for a more effective and efficient operation. On the other hand, the ease of manipulating digital photography and the wide use of the internet has opened the door for disturbing illegal activity. This is a problem the National Council of Youth Sports is addressing head-on.
- While the vast majority of photographers in the sports photography industry conduct their businesses ethically and professionally, there are some who have compromised the integrity and high ethical standards our industry demands. It's hard to believe but true that there are a few who have taken photographs of youngsters only to enhance them in an unethical, immoral and illegal way.
- Parents must have the highest degree of confidence that their children are not only receiving good care and proper instruction, but also are safe from negative and improper conduct from all those who interact with them. These basic principles are crucial to maintaining a positive image and good reputation in the community but also for a safer, more wholesome society.
Here's the solution?
- In order to eradicate this problem before it gets out of hand, we have implemented a process to help ensure a safe and secure environment for athletes with criminal background screening services provided by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI).
- The objective is to create a pipeline for teams and leagues to reference assuring them that their youth sports photographer has undergone a NCSI criminal background check and has done his/her due diligence in providing the organization with the best possible peace of mind with professionalism and solid moral principles.
- The NCYS strongly encourages all those affiliated with the youth sports industry to be certain that the photographer they hire has been recognized by the KidSafe Photographer, has submitted to a NCSI criminal background screening and has agreed to operate their business by a strict code of ethical behavior.
Call to Action!
Be certain all youth sports photographers - professional photographers, parents with cameras, or sideline amateurs - have been received their Certificate of Completion, wear their ID badge and have made the commitment to keeping kids safe. To learn more about providing a KidSafe Photographer environment in your program, visit www.kidsafephotographer.org