Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Diana Franco, DSW, LCSW-R

Title/s:  Clinical Assistant Professor

Specialty Area: Migration Trauma in Immigrant, Refugee, and Asylum-Seeking Minors

Email: dfranco@luc.edu


Dr. Diana Franco serves as Clinical Assistant Professor at Loyola University Chicago, School of Social Work. Dr. Franco has been a clinical social worker for over 20 years. She graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University in 2000 and with a DSW from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work in 2018. Dr. Franco provided school-based social work services for 18 years with the NYC Department of Education and believes that there is a correlation between academic success and social-emotional well-being.

In addition to her contributions as a school social worker, Dr. Franco has provided psychotherapy in English and Spanish in various mental health clinics for children, adolescents, and adult service users. Dr. Franco is a trained volunteer clinician for Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC), where she conducts psychological assessments for migrants seeking asylum.

Dr. Franco is committed to creating a safe and inclusive academic environment that challenges and stimulates students to create new knowledge

Research Interests

Dr. Franco’s area of research focuses on addressing the academic and social-emotional needs of immigrant and undocumented youth. She believes that the various and complex needs of immigrant youth in the education system may be addressed through trauma-informed groups in their native language, while incorporating the students’ cultural values and beliefs.

Selected Publications

Dr. Franco’s work delves into the relationship between trauma and the migration process, social justice, and human rights. Dr. Franco’s research has been published in the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, the Journal of Progressive Human Services, International Journal of Progressive Education, and Social Work Education and has presented her work nationally and internationally.