PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – “Sesame Street” is introducing a foster family to the show. Karli, the newest “Sesame Street” muppet, is in foster care living with her “for-now” parents, Dalia and Clem.
Sesame Workshop announced Karli, Dalia and Clem are part of a new initiative to offer support to children, foster parents, and providers who serve foster families.
The addition of these three characters are designed to help children in foster care as they often experience many transitions from their separation from their birth parents, to their placement in foster care and the many moves that may follow.
“Sesame Street” hopes this initiative helps these children cope along their way.
The initiative is part of the Sesame Street in Communities program which provides free, easy-to-use resources for community providers and caregivers on a range of topics, including homelessness and traumatic experiences.
“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 U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop. “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. By giving the adults in children’s lives the tools they need, with help from the Sesame Street Muppets, we can help both grownups and children feel seen and heard and give them a sense of hope for the future.”
The number of children in the U.S. foster care system has grown for five consecutive years.
In 2017, six out of every 1,000 children in the U.S. spent time in foster care.
Sesame Workshop partnered with national foster care experts to test materials with both foster parents and providers.
The resources found strategies to strengthen relationships between adults and children and lessen the effects of traumatic experiences for the children.