Contributing to delinquency or dependency is where a person acts in any way to harm the morals or welfare of a child under the age of 18 (“delinquency”), or in any way to cause or encourage a child to become a “dependent person.” A dependent person is essentially a beggar, drifter, prostitute, or drug user.
When a charge involves the delinquency of a child, the offense may be called contributory delinquency. An offense may be as simple as keeping a child home from school without explanation. When a charge involves the dependency of a child, the offense may be called contributory dependency. An example would be providing alcohol to a child.