Meet Karli, the Muppet in Foster Care

Sesame Street introduced a new Muppet to help kids in foster care cope with being separated from their birth parents. ❤️

Sesame Street's New Muppet For Foster Kids

Sesame Street introduced new characters to help kids in foster care cope with being separated from their birth parents — Karli, a Muppet in foster care, and her foster parents, Dalia and Clem. Karli's appearances contain within them both lessons for foster families -- like the importance of stability and a sense of belonging -- and explanations for children, told through the eyes of Elmo.

With the introduction of Karli, “Sesame Street” continues to prove why it's been one of television's greatest teaching tools for more than half a century. May is National Foster Care Month in the United States. The center of the new initiative is a Muppet named Karli, a yellow-haired friend of Elmo's who introduces viewers to the concept of "for-now parents."

Karli is part of a new initiative by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, to offer support to children going through a traumatic event. The online resources, include /storybooks/art activities/calming strategies, and are also for parents, caretakers and therapists. In 2017, nearly 443,000 children spent time in foster care — that’s 6 out of every 1,000 children in the U.S.

It’s not the first time Sesame Street has helped kids tackle tough issues while empowering them through education. Muppets have been introduced dealing with family homelessness and incarceration. The new initiative is part of the show's Sesame Street in Communities program, which provides resourceful solutions for parents, teachers and other caregivers on a range of topics, including difficult issues like foster care.

In 2018, "Sesame Street" re-welcomed another character, 7-year-old Lily, to speak about homelessness.