As part of a new initiative focusing on children, foster parents and providers who serve foster families, “Sesame Street” is introducing to the show a new character in foster care.
Karli will be the newest addition to the fictional neighborhood and she’ll be joined by her “for-now” parents, Dalia and Clem.
Karli will be featured in several videos such as “On Your Team,” where Elmo’s dad chats with foster parents Dalia and Clem, and “A Heart Can Grow,” in which the little girl shares an art project with Elmo that shows her heart growing as more love is added.
The show’s initiative is part of the bilingual “Sesame Street in Communities” program, which the site says provides “free, easy-to-use resources for community providers and caregivers on a range of topics.” Some of the topics the program has tackled include homelessness and traumatic experiences.
The program will also provide tips to foster parents that promote engagement between "for-now" parents and children.
“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,” said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President of US Social Impact at Sesame Workshop.
According to the “Sesame Street” press release, number of children in foster care in the U.S has grown in the past five years. In 2017, almost 443,000 children had spent time in foster care and over 40 percent of children in foster care in 2016 were under the age of six.