Authority/Reference(s) DFPS Management
Revision Date May 15, 2017


A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a non-financial agreement between DFPS and one or more parties for a specific purpose. DFPS may enter into an MOU with an entity for a variety of purposes, including the exchange of information, sharing of resources, or to interact with a local entity such as a child advocacy center. If a document does not require a signature by DFPS, it is not an MOU.

While DFPS uses the term Memorandum of Understanding for this type of agreement, not all entities use the same terminology.  An MOU initiated by another agency or entity might be referred to as:

  • Memoranda of Agreement,
  • Letter of Agreement,
  • Collaborative Letter, or
  • Cooperative Agreement.

In the event that the MOU includes the exchange of confidential or otherwise sensitive information (such as patient health information (PHI, personally identifiable information (PII), etc.), then the MOU must include the HHS Data Use Agreement (DUA).

An MOU can go on indefinitely as long as the need continues to exist. However, DFPS recommends limiting the term of an MOU to 48 months in order to reassess the need and revise applicable terms and conditions. As a best practice, staff should review MOUs annually.