“Sesame Street” has introduced a new Muppet with the aim of highlighting the stories and unique love of foster families.
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.”
In one video, Karli’s foster mom explains to Elmo that Karli’s mother is “having a hard time” and that they will “keep her safe until her mommy can take care of her again.”
Elmo innocently asks when that will be, to which Karli’s foster mom explains they’re not sure. But “what we do know is that Karlie belongs here now.”
“We want her here with us,” she says.
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 initiative and 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.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Children’s Bureau, there are more than 440,000 children and youth in foster care.