How to Request Social Media Accounts

Accounts that are created for individual program offices are still subject to review by the Office of Communications (OC). Your office’s presence on any social media platform should be part of a broader communications strategy. It should enhance your efforts to meet your program's mission and specific objectives.

OC will only approve accounts when requesters can demonstrate that there are adequate staffing and resources to produce sustained original content and justify the additional presence in social media.

Before Requesting an Account

Research and Planning

  • Make sure you are familiar with both the HHS Social Media Policies Visit disclaimer page and ACF Social Media Policy
    • Remember, OC has the authority to deactivate any account that violates ACF’s social media policy or any other higher-level policy or regulation related to government information, technology, resources, or permitted activities
  • Read the ACF Social Media Planning Guide
    • Determine if a new account is appropriate and which platform and strategy best suits your audience and communication goals
    • Create a community analysis and engagement plan with measurable objectives
  • Check that there is a federal-friendly Terms of Service Agreement Visit disclaimer page on file with HHS for the selected tool
    • This list will also tell you if a Third Party Website and Application Privacy Impact Assessment is required, which is true for almost every social media platform
  • Work with OC to complete your Privacy Impact Assessment
    • The assessment will ask questions about how the platform will be used, if it collects any personal information, and other possible risks

Other Requirements

  • Ensure your office has a resource mailbox (e.g., acf.comms@acf.hhs.gov, hpog@acf.hhs.gov)
    • If you don't have one, submit a request Visit disclaimer page to the HHS Service Now portal to have a resource mailbox created (PIV card required)
      • Use a descriptive name for the mailbox that references the acronym for your program or staffing division
      • Select “yes” for the option “Is this for a Resource Mailbox Only?”
  • Establish your social media team
    • Office Senior Leadership must designate an ACF federal employee to be the primary account manager
    • Identify other members of your staff who will be involved in the social media presence

To Request an Official ACF Social Media Account

Complete the New Social Media Account Proposal Form and have it signed by the appropriate program office director/manager.

The form must be accompanied by:

  • Community Analysis and Engagement Plan (See the ACF Social Media Planning Guide for details)
  • An editorial calendar with sample content for the account – a minimum of 2 weeks’ worth of original content is required; 1-2 months is recommended

Submit your materials to OC via email to digitalcomms@acf.hhs.gov.

OC will review and approve, amend, or deny new accounts within 10 business days.

After Approval

Once your proposal is approved, you can begin setting up your account.

  • Create the new account on the desired platform using a .gov email address and a secure password that is at least 20 characters long using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. This information must be kept on file with OC at all times.

Build Your Profile

  • Official agency accounts are property of the U.S. federal government and should not be established in the name of an individual ACF employee. Accounts specific to leadership should use the name of the role, not the individual (@ACYFCommissioner)
  • Link to the landing page on the ACF website (or affiliated site) for the relevant program, office, initiative, or resource with a .gov URL
  • Use branding that clearly identifies your program’s ownership or sponsorship as a government entity
  • Include a link to the ACF privacy policy
  • Post a comment policy Visit disclaimer page if user comments are permitted

OC will:

  • Inform ASPA Digital Communications Division to have your account added to the HHS Social Media Directory.
  • Register new accounts with HHS and GSA social media registries, and request verified status

Probationary Period

Initially, approval for all new social media channels is for a 90-day period. Following 90 days of operation, OC and program office staff will evaluate new accounts to determine if they should continue. Persistent inactivity will result in account deactivation.