“Just Ask Mia” Family-Support Chatbot Simplifies Access to Necessary Resources for Arizona Families

June 4, 2024
Child Well-Being Team

Mia is the updated innovation co-created by Valley Leadership’s Child Well-Being Impact Team and Together for Arizona that provides quick, easy and secure information for Arizona families. 

The Mia virtual assistant leverages AI to swiftly connect families with high-quality services related to food, clothing, heat relief and cell phone assistance, in addition to providing proactive solutions for at-risk families.

“Arizona has resources available to meet the needs of children and families, but the availability of these resources doesn’t matter unless families also know where and how to access them,” said Shannon Gnam, Director of Community Collaboration of Together for Arizona. “Mia is a tool designed to make sure families can quickly find what’s out there to help them where they are.”

The idea of statewide virtual family assistance was born five years ago from a group of family and child well-being advocates with lived experience of being in need who want to ensure the health and safety of Arizona children. After conducting extensive surveys and research in Arizona communities, their resounding feedback of wanting a “fast, easy and anonymous” way to connect with resources sparked the idea of Mia.

“The name Mia was chosen because it feels approachable, friendly and comforting for anyone in Arizona seeking assistance,” said Stephen Flaaen, Valley Leadership Impact Maker team member.

“Mia is leveraging technology in a way that hasn’t really been done before and will be a game-changer in helping families get the services they need,” he said. “With the help of dozens of subject matter experts and lived/system experts, it’s been exciting to be a part of a team to build it and help the chatbot evolve.”

Available in English and Spanish, the Mia virtual assistant has mobile and computer applications where families can use the web-based chatbot or SMS anonymously at their convenience. By creating a place for families to efficiently seek help when they need it, members of Valley Leadership’s Child Well-Being Impact Team are hoping to reduce overall stress and improve the well-being of Arizona’s families.

The Mia chatbot can already be found on several websites frequented by Arizonans seeking assistance, such as Tempe Union High School District, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona and Together for Arizona. 

Learn more about Mia and how you can get share it with your community today.