David Crowley ’05 to appear on 20/20 with Diane Sawyer
ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer recently interviewed David Crowley ’05 for a segment on the news program 20/20 to air at 10 p.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 2. The segment will explore the controversial issue of prescription drug use in the foster care system.
Crowley is a clinical therapist at Maryhurst Family Treatment Homes in Louisville, which provides treatment programs for severely traumatized children — primarily teenage girls — who have been abused or neglected. Sawyer’s report on the use of psychotropic drugs on children focuses on Maryhurst as an example of best practices.
“20/20 is using Maryhurst as a positive example due to our philosophy to utilize a minimal amount of medications while focusing more on building healthy relationships during treatment,” Crowley says. “I haven’t seen the final product so I’m not sure how much I’ll be featured, but I was filmed a significant amount of time.”
According to a study originally published in “Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics,” antipsychotic medication is given more often to children in foster care than children who are on government assistance, but not in foster care. Foster children are also more likely to have long-term prescriptions for more than one type of antipsychotic medication.
By contrast, Maryhurst’s philosophy relies less on medications and more on intensive therapy and helping young people develop the tools they need to overcome the life challenges they face.
Friday’s broadcast will be the in-depth conclusion of a year-long investigation by Sawyer and Sharyn Alfonsi. Reports began airing on World News with Diane Sawyer on Wednesday, Nov. 30. In the first expose, Sawyer reports that foster children are given prescription medications at 13 times the rate of other children and often in doses and combinations that are considered too dangerous, even for adults.
For Crowley, who majored in psychology and anthropology/sociology, working with troubled youth is a long held passion. A profile of him published on Centre’s website in 2004 has proven prophetic: “Eventually, I’d like to work in a residential setting with children with emotional and behavioral problems. I like working with children. It’s fun and you feel like you’re influencing them in a better way than they’ve been influenced in their homes.” (To read the entire interview click here.)
During his time at Centre, Crowley interned with the children’s program at Comprehensive Care and worked at Woodlawn Children’s Home — now known as Sunrise Children’s Services — in Danville after graduation.
“Dr. Jan Wertz, Dr. Sarah Goodrum, and Dr. Beau Weston were my most significant influences during my time at Centre,” he says. “They provided the education, guidance, support and positive influence in the psychology and sociology fields. Their courses were interactive and engaging while preparing me for my career.
“Dr. Wertz was also influential in organizing and supervising my internships at Boyle County Comprehensive Care and Woodlawn,” Crowley adds.
Crowley was also a top athlete at Centre, participating for four years in both football and track and field. In 2004 he was one of 10 finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy for the nation’s top Division III player.