Guilty of spoon-spanking: 4-year-old paddled by foster mom with cooking utensil

A foster mother has pled guilty to spanking a 4-year-old child with a wooden spoon.

Jami Littlefield pled guilty Monday to third-degree assault in Superior Court in Norwich, Conn. The 51-year-old who initially denied hitting the child later admitted that she spanked the girl with the wooden spoon for acting out, AP reports.

The unnamed child's biological mother, Elisabeth Land, noticed that her daughter's buttocks were bruised during a supervised visit. Littlefield was arrested after medical staff determined that the bruises were caused by a blunt instrument repeating striking the buttocks.

Littlefield said she spanked the child with the wooden spoon she was cooking with after the child had used a racial slur against her granddaughter, spat and struck her.

Littlefield's foster care license which she received in 2004 has reportedly been removed after her arrest. She will be sentenced on July 17 and may face 100 days in prison and two years of probation for the assault.

According to Gary Kleebatt, a spokesman for the Department of Children and Families, foster parents receive extensive training on the proper care of children, including how to manage behavioral issues.

"Certainly we expect that they will not use an instrument of any type," he told The Day.

Land and her husband had voluntarily signed their daughter and her older brother into foster care in August 2012 after having emotional and financial problems so they could work towards building a better home life for their children, according to The Day. The pair have been attending supervised visits with their children.

"I want the world to know what happened to her (the daughter) because she was in a state-licensed foster home and she suffered these injuries," Land said to The Day.