A "Sesame Street" character named Karli is about to help young children affected by addiction to realize they are not alone.

Back in May, "Sesame Street" introduced its newest Muppet, Karli, 6, who had just moved in with a foster family. Now her storyline is going one step further as audience members learn why she had to stay with her "for now" family: Karli's mother is dealing with addiction, and her addiction is a sickness that is not Karli's fault.

"What Karli does is she helps bring to life an issue that a lot of people think of as a grown-up issue, and don't understand the impact on young children," Sherrie Westin, president of social impact and philanthropy of the Sesame Workshop, told TODAY.

In the United States, there are nearly 6 million children under the age of 11 living with a parent who has a substance abuse problem. That's why "Sesame Street" is launching a new parental addiction initiative, Westin said.

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