Stagner is a nationally recognized authority on policies affecting children and families. His research includes work on youth risk behaviors, children aging out of foster care, and programs that support social services. Before joining Chapin Hall in 2006, Stagner directed the Center on Labor, Human Services and Population at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Earlier, Stagner directed the Division of Children and Youth Policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has directed research for the National Research Council and the Center for the Study of Social Policy.