"Sesame Street" is welcoming a new friend to the neighborhood — this time, a character who lives with foster parents.
The debut of Karli, a young, green Muppet who lives with her "for-now" foster parents, is part of Sesame Workshop's "Sesame Street in Communities" program, which offers free, bilingual resources "for community providers and caregivers on a range of topics, including tough issues like family homelessness and traumatic experiences."
The initiative, which Sesame Workshop announced in a press release on Monday, is designed to "offer support to children, foster parents, and providers who serve foster families."
And with Karli – and her foster parents, Dalia and Clem – "Sesame Street" fans have the opportunity to experience just that.
The pig-tailed Muppet was introduced in a video last month titled "You Belong." In it, Elmo meets Karli, Dalia and Clem at their home for a pizza party.
At one point, as Karli is getting Elmo settled for dinner and shows him everyone's placemats, she realizes hers is missing. She tells her parents, "I don't have a place."
Clem tells Elmo that Karli is "having a hard time," but notes that "we're here for her. We're her for-now parents."
When Elmo asks what this means, Dalia tells him: “Sometimes even mommies and daddies need some help taking care of their children. Karli’s mommy has been having a hard time, so we are her foster parents, or her for-now parents. We will keep her safe until her mommy can take care of her again.”
Karli's foster parents later reassure her, singing: "There is a place for you here. You belong."
In December, "Sesame Street" re-welcomed another character, 7-year-old Lily, to speak about homelessness.