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Laina Shoemake

Laina Shoemake is the Coordinator of Policy and Research for the Palmetto Association of Children and Families (PAFCAF). While she is new to this field, she is not new to working with children and families who are facing challenging times. Prior to transitioning to her role at PAFCAF, Laina was a public school teacher for 18 years, serving students in lower income areas. She has twice been named Teacher of the Year and also received the honor of being named the Tech Savvy Teacher of the Year for Richland One School District. Laina holds a B.A. in Sociology and Education from Mary Baldwin College and an M.Ed. in Leadership from the University of South Carolina. Laina’s passion for ensuring that children have the best start possible in life has been evident through her work in public schools and continues to drive her work with PAFCAF.

Highly Mobile Children & the Public School System

Through extensive research, mobility in education has been associated with lower student engagement, poorer grades in reading and math, and higher drop-out rates. A 2015 NYU study correlated both lower state test scores and challenges with critical thinking to school mobility. Considering the frequency with which youth in care change schools, it is critical that caregivers have a toolbox of strategies for promoting educational stability. In “Highly Mobile Children & the Public School System” we will examine the impacts of school mobility, identify legislation that seeks to promote educational stability for youth in care, and learn how to best advocate for youth as they transition through school changes.



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