She is shown to be in the care of two foster parents, Dalia and Clem. She is also good friends with Elmo. Though not addressed in the videos, the writers suggest that her mother's absence is due to being "away getting treatment for substance abuse."
Karli is also set to star in videos for the site debuting in October, focusing on substance abuse.
She is made from the same puppet originally used as Karina the Ballerina, with some altered facial features.