Sara Shaw

Senior Researcher

Dr. Sara Shaw is a Senior Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on using mixed methods and community-based research to promote housing and educational justice for youth and families experiencing housing and economic insecurity. Through her work she engages in participatory research and evaluation, using principals of equitable evaluation to guide the design and implementation of projects. The underpinnings of her research are guided by the notion that data and evaluation can help promote social justice by unearthing inequities, lifting up community voices, and challenging the status quo.

Shaw’s primary research focuses on connecting families and children experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness to high-quality education programs. Shaw is currently part of a team working closely with residents in Newark, New Jersey to co-produce knowledge to advance community-level change for families experiencing housing related challenges in the South Ward neighborhood. Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Shaw was a Research Scientist at Child Trends. In this role she played a key role in designing and launching projects focused on housing justice. For example, she served as the co-Principal Investigator for an evaluation of Newark, New Jersey’s South Ward Promise Neighborhood initiative, which includes a study on issues related to housing in the community. She also led the development of a series of reports for the federal Office of Planning Research and Evaluation (OPRE) focused on the potential for data to help facilitate access to early care and education programs for families experiencing homelessness. At Child Trends her work also focused on the role of systemic racism and sexism in access to housing and early care and education for families with young children.

Shaw holds a PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences from the University of Delaware, a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology from Saint Joseph’s University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from La Salle University.

PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Delaware

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology, Saint Joseph’s University

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, La Salle University

Lloyd, C.M.*, & Shaw, S.H.* (2021). Exploring how racism and discrimination affect the housing needs of Black families. Presented at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Washington, D.C.

Lloyd, C.M.*, & Shaw, S.H.* (2021). What do we know about racism, discrimination, and Black families with young children? Panel presentation for the Children’s Work Group Conference Philadelphia, PA.

Shaw, S.H., Hirilall, A., & Halle, T. (2019). Leveraging data for identifying children experiencing homelessness for early childhood services. Presented at the National Human Services Data Consortium Conference, Nashville, TN.

Shaw, S.H., Hirilall, A., & Halle, T. (2019, March). Identifying children experiencing homelessness for early care and education. Presented at the Bi-annual Society for Research in Child Development Conference, Baltimore, MD.

Shaw, S.H. (2018). How Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agencies are supporting young children experiencing homelessness. School House Connections Webinar.

Maxwell, K., Shaw, S.H., & Lin, V. (2018). Developing data sharing agreements. CCADAC Webinar.

Shaw, S. (2018). Child care for families experiencing homelessness: Lessons learned and the road ahead. School House Connections Webinar.

Shaw, S. H. (2017). Medical and psychosocial risk profiles for low birthweight and preterm birth: Nationally representative evidence. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Conference, Austin, TX.

Shaw, S. H., Herbers, J., & Cutuli, J. J. (2016). Assessing and improving the developmental appropriateness of family homeless shelters: Preliminary evidence from Philadelphia. Poster presented at the ACF National Research Conference on Early Childhood, Washington, DC.

Hooper, A., Shaw S. H., & Hallam, R. (2016). Non-parental child care arrangements used by families of a child with a disability. Poster presented at the 10th Biennial Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, San Diego, CA.

Shaw, S. H., & Perlman, S. M. (2015). Access to early childhood services for young children experiencing homelessness. Poster presented at the 37th Annual Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Fall Conference, Miami, FL.

Visiting Scholar, People’s Emergency Center, 2016

Strattner-Gregory Child Advocacy Award, University of Delaware, 2015

Second Place Poster, 37th Annual Association for the Public Policy Analysis and Management Fall Conference, 2015

Lloyd, C.M., Carlson, J., Barnett, H.*, Shaw, S.*, & Logan, D. (2022). Mary Pauper: A historical exploration of early care and education compensation, policy, and solutions. Early Educator Investment Collaborative. https://earlyedcollaborative.org/what-we-do/ourwork/mary-pauper/

Lloyd, C.M., Shaw, S., Sanders, M., Abdul-Masih, M., & Schaefer, C. (2022). Reimagining Black families’ cultural assets can inform policies and practices that enhance their well-being. Child Trends. https://www.childtrends.org/publications/reimagining-black-families-cultural-assets-can-inform-policies-and-practices-that-enhance-their-well-being

Sanders, M., Lloyd, C.M., & Shaw, S. (2022). An applied research agenda on Black children and families to advance practices and policies that promote their well-being. Child Trends. https://www.childtrends.org/publications/an-applied-research-agenda-on-black-children-and-families-to-advance-practices-and-policies-that-promote-their-well-being

Lloyd, C.M.*, Shaw, S.*, & Balding, S. (2021). Housing systems must better support families with young children experiencing homelessness. Child Trends. https://www.childtrends.org/blog/housing-systems-must-better-support-families-with-young-children-experiencing-homelessness

Shaw, S., Lloyd, C.M., & Alvira-Hammond, M. (2021). As pandemic eviction moratorium ends, households with children face greater risk of homelessness. Child Trends. https://www.childtrends.org/publications/as-pandemic-eviction-moratorium-ends-households-with-children-face-greater-risk-of-homelessness

Lloyd, C. M.*, Shaw, S.*, Alvira-Hammond, M., & Hazelwood, A. (2021). Racism and discrimination contribute to housing instability for Black families during the pandemic. Child Trends. https://www.childtrends.org/publications/racism-and-discrimination-contribute-to-housing-instability-for-black-families-during-the-pandemic

Shaw, S., Hirilall, A. T., & Halle, T. (2020). Leveraging data to support children experiencing homelessness. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Shaw, S., Hirilall, A. T., & Halle, T. (2020). Facilitating access to early care and education for children experiencing homelessness. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Shaw, S., Lloyd, C. M., & Holder, N. (2020). Strategies to support the administration of direct service provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. Child Trends. https://www.childtrends.org/publications/strategies-to-support-the-administration-of-direct-service-provision-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

Lloyd, C. M, Shaw, S., & Holder, N. (2020). Supporting clients in under-resourced communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Child Trends.  https://www.childtrends.org/publications/supporting-clients-in-under-resourced-communities-during-covid-19-pandemic

Shaw, S. (2019). Current data on infants and toddlers experiencing homelessness. Zero to Three, 39(4), 11-19.

Shaw, S., Partika, A., & Tout, K. (2019). Child care subsidy stability literature review. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Madill, R., Rosinsky, K., Supplee, L., & Shaw, S. (2019). Promoting understanding of community connections in home visiting: State of available data and future opportunities. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Shaw, S. (2019). Experiencing homelessness and housing instability in early childhood. In: Whitney, G. (eds) Zero to Three Special Issue.

Shaw, S., Hilty, R., Lloyd, C. M., Nagle, K., Paschall, K., Warner-Richter, M., . . . Tout, K. (2019). Evaluation of R.E.E.T.A.I.N.: Minnesota’s child care workforce retention program. Child Trends. https://www.childtrends.org/publications/evaluation-of-reetain-minnesota-child-care-workforce-retention-program

Shaw, S., Lin, V., & Maxwell, K. L. (2018). Guidelines for developing data sharing agreements to use state administrative data for early care and education research. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Murphey, D., Epstein, D., Shaw, S., McDaniel, T., & Steber, K. (2018). The status of infants and toddlers in Philadelphia. Child Trends. https://www.childtrends.org/publications/the-status-of-infants-and-toddlers-in-philadelphia

Perlman S.M., Shaw S., Kieffer C. H., Whitney G. A. C., & Bires C. (2017). Access to early childhood services for young children experiencing homelessness. In M. Haskett (ed.) Child and Family Well-Being and Homelessness. SpringerBriefs in Psychology.