The latest Muppet in the “Sesame Street” family is a foster kid called Karli with “for-now” parents.
While Karli won’t be seen on the popular kids show, she’ll appear in video, digital and print materials as part of the “Sesame Street in Communities” foster care initiative alongside her foster parents Dalia and Clem.
“Children in foster care often experience many transitions — from their separation from birth parents, to their placement in foster care, to many moves — and the new resources are designed to help children in crisis cope along the way,” Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind the show, said in a statement.
Videos starring Karli include “On Your Team,” featuring the green-haired girl and her friend Elmo playing a game called Monster Ball. While the kids pal around, their parents catch up. Elmo’s dad asks Clem and Dalia how things have been going since becoming Karli’s foster parents.
“Changes like this can be really rough for kids — and for adults too,” foster dad Clem says.
“It’s had its ups and downs, but no matter what, we try to let Karli know we are always here for her,” Dalia admits.
In addition to the videos, free resources for foster parents and caregivers — from a storybook to an Artmaker activity to help kids express their feelings through drawing — are available at SesameStreetinCommunities.org.
“Fostering a child takes patience, resilience, and sacrifice, and we know that caring adults hold the power to buffer the effects of traumatic experiences on young children,” Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop, said. “We want foster parents and providers to hear that what they do matters — they have the enormous job of building and rebuilding family structures and children’s sense of safety.
“By giving the adults in children’s lives the tools they need — with help from the ‘Sesame Street’ Muppets — we can help both grownups and children feel seen and heard and give them a sense of hope for the future,” she added.
Karli is just the latest “Sesame Street” character introduced to help families cope. Last month, the long-running educational kids’ program announced that the family of Julia, the show’s first autistic character, would also be featured in new digital videos and storybooks as part of its “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” initiative.