A policewoman who was a foster child and is now a foster carer has urged people to consider doing the same.
Natalie Thrussell, 37, from Thame, is supporting Foster Care Fortnight which runs from May 12-25 to help tackle a shortfall of 8,600 foster carers in the UK.
She works as a special constable with the police but has been a carer with agency Foster Care Associates for the last two years.
She said: “I was in care myself as a teenager so I had thought about becoming a foster carer on and off for some time.
“But it wasn’t until I was a bit older and more settled that I felt ready to take it on.
“It took me a while to get used to fostering and being a carer but it has been really good.
“There have been challenges to face but it has been rewarding as well.”
Ms Thrussell has looked after young people of different ages but said she has learned a ‘huge amount’ each time.
She is a single carer, which she says busts the myth that you need to be married, one of the aims of the fortnight.
Ms Thrussell said there are no specific boxes to tick but certain traits come in handy.
She said: “Resilience is an important trait for a foster carer I think. Also patience and a thick skin.
“In my case I have looked at some of the young people on paper and thought I wouldn’t be up to it.
“But the support and training I have received helped give me the tools to make the placements a success.”
If you are interested in fostering a child visit www.thefca.co.uk or call 08000234561.