SALT LAKE CITY — ”Sesame Street” has introduced a new muppet character to the show, and her purpose is to introduce kids to and help them navigate having foster parents.
Introduced as Elmo’s friend Karli, the muppet lives with adult muppets Dalia and Clem, who tell Elmo in a new “Sesame Street” clip that they are Karli’s “for-now” parents until her mother can take care of her again.
"Sesame Street" introduced Karli as part of National Foster Care Month, which happens annually in May.
“Sesame Street” has also unrolled a new foster care initiative on its “Sesame Street in Communities” platform that provides foster parents of young children with resources and activities.
Some of these resources include printables, videos and coloring pages for children and educational articles for adults.
Karli’s reception has so far been pretty positive on social media.
“This is a really beautiful thing,” @CBPuppets tweeted.
“This is why I love Sesame Street,” @edwardistheman tweeted.
“As a volunteer associated with Social Services, I thank you very much for this. And to everyone who sees this, the nation needs more foster parents.”
Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, said in a press release, “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.
“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."