Jami Littlefield, 51, of Griswold, pleaded guilty Monday in Superior Court in Norwich to third-degree assault. She told authorities she paddled the girl in January because she was acting out, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Littlefield was arrested after the girl's biological mother noticed bruises on her daughter's buttocks when the child bent over to pick up a toy during a supervised visit. Medical staff at the Pequot Health Center determined the girl's contusions appeared to have been caused by the repeated strikes of a blunt instrument.
Littlefield initially denied hitting the child but later said she spanked the girl with the spoon she was using to stir soup after the child struck her granddaughter, spat at her and used a racial slur, according to the arrest document.
Gary Kleeblatt, a spokesman for the Department of Children and Families, told The Day of New London that Littlefield's foster care license, which she received in 2004, was removed after her arrest.
Foster parents receive extensive training on the proper care of children, including how to manage behaviors without resorting to corporal punishment, Kleeblatt said.
"Certainly we expect that they will not use an instrument of any type," he said.
Littlefield is scheduled to be sentenced on July 17. Under terms of her plea deal she faces 100 days in prison and two years of probation.