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“In Loco Parentis” is a phrase which here means "acting in the role of a parent" and is used many times throughout A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Mr. Poe uses this phrase when explaining to the Baudelaires that Count Olaf's behaviour towards the children isn't technically illegal.

Are you familiar with the Latin term 'in loco parentis?'...'In loco parentis' means 'acting in the role of a parent'. It is a legal term and it applies to Count Olaf. Now that you are in his care, the Count may raise you using any methods he sees fit.
 
— Mr. Poe, to the Baudelaires
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