KIPS TIPS March 2020

Happy Spring !
Marilee & Phil
The KIPS People ~ Comfort Consults

Muppets Help Kids & Families Talk About Foster Care

In case you missed it, Sesame Street in Communities introduced Karli, a new Muppet, to its young audience with the help of Elmo, one of their most beloved characters. 

 Muppet-Karli-foster-familyKarli is living with her “for now family” -- her foster family. Karli’s foster parents explain to Elmo in a video, that a “for now family” offers support when a birth family needs assistance. As nurturing parents, they listen intently and assure Karli that she is safe and strong and there is “a place for you” in their home. These “for now” parents offer an open, honest atmosphere for Karli and Elmo to ask questions and to express their feelings.


 Resources. In addition to the videos featuring Karli, Sesame Street in Communities has created a field-tested array of bilingual resources (English/Spanish) regarding foster care for children, families and community-based providers which include:

  • Videos with Karli, her “for-now” parents, and her Muppet friends,
  • Feeling Basket storybook and activities to help children name, talk about feelings,
  • Online Interactives with drawing and calming activities to help children handle their feelings,
  • Tips for Foster Parents and Providers to give children coping strategies and honest, age-appropriate ways to field children’s challenging foster care questions. 

Accompanying these resources are helpful guides for parents and providers that suggest questions, discussion topics, and activities to embed into children’s daily routines.

As KIPS parenting assessment trainers, we are heartened to hear from an increasing number of community-based providers who are serving these foster children, foster families, and their birth families.  Apparently, many family court systems are currently requesting evidence-based parenting assessments, such as KIPS, by credentialed community providers in order to make fair and thoughtful decisions about child placement, reunification and parenting services.  When a community provider adds an observational parenting assessment to her/his toolbox of resources, s/he can document the parents’ strengths and needs during parent-child interactions, set specific goals with parents, and track family progress toward creating a nurturing environment for their children.

We applaud Sesame Street in Communities for developing creative resources for community providers, parents/caregivers, and young children to explore the deep questions, complicated feelings and coping strategies surrounding foster care. In addition, Sesame Street offers resources on other topics ranging from hygiene (e.g., see Raja & Elmo video on hand washing), and school readiness, to more challenging topics like homelessness, food insecurity, community violence, parent addiction, autism, divorce, and parent incarceration. Sesame Street materials that include videos, storybooks, online interactives, games, and professional development resources are available online for free (😀) in English and Spanish.



Welcome New KIPSters! 


Fulton County Family Partnership, McConnellsburg, PA

El Paso County Dept. of Human Services, Colorado Springs, CO

The Priority Center (previously Child Abuse Prevention), Anaheim, CA   


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and Supports?

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Here are the links:

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Listen to Children! Our Climate Needs Protection. Earth Day Is Everyday!

How Can We Help Parents Cope with the Burden of Toxic Stress?

How-to Video: Serve & Return Parenting Builds Healthy Brains and Relationships

Protect Children, Reduce Impact of Neglect. Build Nurturing Parenting


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Marilee Comfort & Phil Gordon

The KIPS People - Comfort Consults

POB 82, Cheyney, PA



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