Sean (centre) has won a national award for his hard work
A teenage offender on Teesside, who turned his life around after meeting his victim, has helped compile a national report into child services.
Sean Crannage, 18, from Hartlepool, said he got his life back on the "right track" after meeting a woman whose house he stole lead roof tiles from.
After being put in touch with Pauline Frost he said he understood his actions had left her terrified.
The Children's Society's Good Childhood Inquiry will be released on Thursday.
Mr Crannage, who found full-time employment after meeting his victim, is now volunteering for the Children's Society and worked with psychologists and academics to shape the reports recommendations.
He had been involved in a number of incidents but when he met Ms Frost he apologised, took full responsibility and vowed never to commit another crime.
He said: "There is nothing for us to do around here so we would just drink in gangs.
"I was stealing lead to sell it off, get money so I could buy more alcohol, it was stupid really.
"When I was arrested and kept in a cell, I just kept my head down, but it's a horrible place to be."
He won the title of Most Inspirational Young Person at the Kids Count Awards last year.
Lesley Hamilton from the Hartlepool Youth Offending Service said: "Sean has taken the bull by the horns and has turned his life around for the better.
"The work of a number of partners has helped him with his progress and, in particular, the Children's Society who were involved in the victim mediation.
"We hope that Sean can have an impact on the lives of other young people that come through the Youth Offending Service."