The shield must still be worn in the intended fashion.
Magical shields in particular must be worn properly to benefit from their magical properties:
Using a magic item’s properties might mean wearing or wielding it. A magic item meant to be worn must be donned in the intended fashion: boots go on the feet, gloves on the hands, hats and helmets on the head, and rings on the finger. Magic armor must be donned, a shield strapped to the arm, a cloak fastened about the shoulders. A weapon must be held in hand.
So the Sentinel Shield must be donned properly to benefit from its magical properties, which you can do without being proficient, but you will suffer the penalty:
If you wear armor that you lack proficiency with, you have disadvantage on any ability check, saving throw, or attack roll that involves Strength or Dexterity, and you can't cast spells.