IPA USA is the national affiliate of IPA World, an international non-governmental organization founded in Denmark in 1961. It is interdisciplinary and embraces in membership persons of all professions working for or with children. Membership is open to any individual, group, or organization which endorses the United Nations' Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), especially Article 7, paragraph 3, which states:
"The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavor to promote the enjoyment of this right;"
The IPA endorses its belief in Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990).
IPA is governed by a Board of Directors and a Council of National Representatives together with five members-at-large elected for three years, and the IPA USA is governed by a Board of Directors, five which are elected triennially.
The IPA works in close association with many international organizations, is recognized by theUnited Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and recognized by UNICEF as a non-governmental organization with consultative status.
The IPA links national action groups through its members in over forty countries and provides for an exchange of ideas, issues, problems and innovative solutions.